Setting a standard against which industry employees are measured is a key component of one of ASA’s strategic goals — for our members’ employees to be the best trained, best educated and most professional. Hiring the finest, training to the highest standard and retaining an elite workforce can ensure the long-term viability of a company. Getting there can be a rewarding journey.

The ASA Education Foundation Board of Trustees met in conjunction with NETWORK2016 in New York City to continue its focus on this goal in light of the looming workforce shortage. The results from last year’s labor study predicted a loss of 50,000 employees over the next 10 years, nearly 25% (and a staggering loss of 100,000 employees, nearly 50%, over the next 20 years). Trustees discussed how ASA University can best serve the membership to meet the demand from new employees entering the industry.

For decades, many workers came into our industry because they grew up around the family business. Today, companies must seek out employees from nontraditional sources with a focus on groups, such as millennials, who do not have institutional knowledge of our industry but demand nontraditional methods of learning. Questions such as, “What do our members need to implement training programs that fit the needs of these new employees?” and “Is ASA University offering the training and support necessary for our members to onboard these employees successfully?” were wrestled with during the trustees’ two-day meeting.

In the past, hiring a new employee and letting him or her learn on the job from seasoned employees was the normal practice for many companies. As these seasoned employees retire and thousands of new employees join the industry, a new standard for training is necessary for members to remain competitive. This standard is provided by ASA University — competency-based job descriptions, employee behavioral assessments and comprehensive role-based training approaches. Talent-development resources and support are available to help attract, advance and retain choice employees.

ASA University and all it offers is made possible by the support of the Karl E. Neupert Endowment Fund. Since its inception, the fund has invested more than $6.5 million to create an extensive ASA University that delivers role-based training in more than 28 critical job functions, customized training and consulting to hundreds of industry firms, more than 275 online training courses, and to date, has facilitated more than 33,000 courses and more than 25,000 learning hours. The Karl. E. Neupert Endowment Fund will be a critical factor in the ability of ASA University to grow and keep up with the needs of the membership. Chief among them is helping you to hire and keep good people as well as with your employee development needs now and in the future.

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