One specific community college’s workforce department representative placed a call to a Joe Smith, the Vice President of an energy company who didn’t have time to talk, but was interested in scheduling an appointment. The VP explained to the corporate college representative that their son recently graduated from college and had received his two year Associates degree at the college. However, he didn’t know anything about the college’s corporate college and required more information to guide his comprehension during the meeting.
As the meeting took place, the corporate college representative established rapport with the VP, which permitted him to provide a brief introduction of the corporate college. The VP intently listened, and when the corporate college representative began to delve into a need assessment, the VP responded by stating that much of the training was handled internally at the facility or through his headquarters in Atlanta. While there may have been a need, at present, it wasn’t pressing. However, the VP continued to explain that he did have some needs for which the college seemed to be a great fit. He continued to express that he wanted to have better exposure in the community and wanted to know about any events at the college which he could sponsor. In essence, he was looking to be part of a foundation or an advisory board because he is as a big believer in helping students to get ahead. At that time, the VP was ready to develop a recruiting relationships with colleges.
The corporate college representative nodded his head and explained that he would check back with the VP. Unfortunately, the representative didn’t see an immediate revenue opportunity for his department or motivation to direct Joe to the right departments— nor could he predict the time it would detract from his main responsibilities. The representative determined that the meeting would not be valuable to him or his workforce development training products and services; therefore he didn’t pursue further or follow-up with Mr. Smith.
1. Could there have been a better way to proactively capture the community college’s total value proposition with an employer before the meeting was contracted?
2. Since the VP didn’t know anything about the college’s corporate college, was it worthwhile to visit and educate him? Why or why not?
3. At present, it appears that the VP’s priorities do not lie in corporate training, but rather, in understanding how the college’s capabilities could help his own business. Was this a productive meeting for the college’s corporate training department? Why or why not?
4. As a result of not following up on the VP’s needs, what impact on the employer’s trust and credibility with the community college and the corporate college division could you foresee occurring?
Given the work that you do at the Community College, what were your big takeaways? What messages spoke loudest to you? Or which ones prompted more questions or concerns? I'd love to know! Email me at http://www.thelearningstrategy.com/contact.html and write "Community College - Employer Case Study #1" in the subject line.