by J. Eric Eckard

Board games. Role playing simulations. What once was considered a childish endeavor is now at the forefront of industry training.

Edgecombe Community College offers a business simulation class as part of its customized training curriculum, presenting a 21st century take on teaching business and industry workers.

George Anderson, director of customized training, leads Lean Six Sigma training, which is a method that provides organizations with tools to improve the capability of their business processes.

“It’s a big picture perspective on how a business works,” says George Anderson, the College’s director of customized training. “I’m excited about it.”

In his class, Anderson uses the Celemi Apples & Oranges™ business simulation game in which students are given money to invest in research and development, people, infrastructure, and other essentials, much like Monopoly™.

This class is just one of many methods Anderson and his team employ to train workers at Eastern North Carolina companies, from small businesses to large corporations.

The College provides the customized training programs, which are funded by the State, to workers at no cost to the companies.

Anderson says that customized training falls into three categories: project work, generic training, and support training.

Companies including Tyson Foods, Keihin Carolina System Technology, Ossid, and Nash Building Systems all have called on Edgecombe Community College to develop training plans for specific projects.

The College also has taught generic leadership, conflict resolution, and safety classes for ABB, SwimWays, and Telepathic Graphics.

“This spring, we had the largest class we’ve had in support training – Lean Six Sigma – 16 people representing seven different companies,” Anderson says.

Chris Brudos, project manager at Ossid, was one of those 16 students, and he praises Anderson’s approach to training.

“George does an excellent job, turning what can be very dry material into something fun and interactive,” Brudos says. “He helps you gain a true understanding of the material.

Anderson keeps in mind that his students also are employees with a job to do.

“We try not take a worker off the floor for a week at a time,” he says. “They’ve got to keep the plant running, so we try to keep classes convenient for them.”

He adds, “Customized training helps keep our companies competitive, and it also helps them maintain certifications for their employees.”

For more information
George Anderson
Director of Customized Training
823-5166, ext. 197