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CVC gets deal for Ivy Tech training

Will create sites for Corporate College

Bell
Townsend

CVC Communications has worked with colleges nationally for about eight years, tailoring online courses that businesses would find as suitable employee training programs.

The company’s business connections are likely to increase, thanks to a new partnership with Ivy Tech, which has campuses across the state. The two have reached a five-year agreement in which CVC, based in Fort Wayne, will develop several training modules that Ivy Tech Corporate College can offer businesses.

The first set of 10 courses will cover Environmental, Health and Safety training, including OSHA-required information on fire protection, workplace injury, first aid and forklift safety.

“We believe employers put a tremendous focus on health in the workplace. Safety isn’t really limited to one industry or another,” said Matt Bell, who became president in April of Ivy Tech Corporate College. The college was launched in 2011 to address employee training needs.

The goal is to build a library of about 50 training modules for businesses, said Bell, who was previously with the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana.

The Corporate College considered several vendors but was impressed with CVC’s track record for catering to individual businesses, Bell said.

CVC is a privately held, 31-year-old business that helps companies with marketing, communication and training needs.

Bell and Bill Townsend, president of CVC, said no specific dollar amount is attached to their agreement. The cost to Ivy Tech will be based on the cost of developing each course.

“The agreement is a strategic one, not necessarily a fiduciary one,” Bell said.

Costs, however, won’t be overlooked. Bell said developing training modules could cost anywhere from $7,500 up to $20,000.

He defines a module as a self-contained minicourse that would typically take 30 minutes to 90 minutes to go through.

Ivy Tech will determine how to price the offerings for businesses interested in purchasing the training programs to develop their own online universities.

“Part of what we believe our role is,” Bell said, “is to make sure we’re presenting a wide array of the best solutions to Indiana businesses.”

Bell, whose office is in Indianapolis, said one of the challenges businesses face is finding skilled workers and training.

“Our commitment to helping address that skills gap is absolute,” he said.

For the year ended June 30, 2012, Ivy Tech served 25,000 individual students across the state through the Corporate College.

“Our goal is to see that number grow, and I want to see it more than triple over the next five years,” Bell said.

CVC, which has 15 employees and about two dozen contract employees, is eager to help.

Townsend runs the company with his wife, Marilyn Moran-Townsend, who is CVC’s chief executive officer. This summer, she was elected chair of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, which plans and coordinates Indiana’s state-supported system of postsecondary education.

Bill Townsend said his company will help create for the Corporate College “off-the-shelf” training materials on environmental health and safety and set up online universities for businesses.

He respects Ivy Tech’s commitment to training.

“They’re all about training outcomes,” Townsend said.

CVC builds training programs typically by relying on experts within companies, Townsend said. CVC has a proprietary “knowledge capture process” called StorySaver that helps the company seek out the details it needs to craft training scripts.

“We understand how to draw that material out,” Townsend said.

“Our process is really geared to develop a course within 60 to 90 days.”

One of CVC’s strengths, Townsend said, is the ability to develop interactive training.

“I see a lot of online training that’s pretty bad out there, and there’s a couple of things that happen,” Townsend said. “There’s a lot of material out there that’s just talking heads. You put a professor up and he’s just talking to you, or there’s just a lot of text.”

CVC tries to provide engaging content “with media-rich ingredients,” Townsend said.

“We use a lot of video, animation, audio,” he said.

“All of our material has knowledge checks and quizzes in them, and we gear that really to the individual industry.”

lisagreen@jg.net

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