TEEX & The Home Depot build training partnership that ‘hits the nail on the head’

4/30/2003 12:00 AM

TEEX and The Home Depot have teamed up to provide training for entry-level employees at seven new Home Depot stores opening statewide this year. The project is funded by a one-year, $487,000 Skills Development grant from the Texas Workforce Commission.

“We’re co-instructors and helping to evaluate the effectiveness of the training for new store associates,” said Ramona Malone of the Technology and Economic Development Division (TED). “We’ll be training and evaluating about 700 employees hired this year at seven of the new stores The Home Depot is planning to open in Texas."

According to The Home Depot web site and local media reports, planned 2003 store openings include Bryan/College Station, Texarkana, Grapevine, Dallas, Lewisville, Wichita Falls, Roanoke, Corpus Christi and Georgetown.

Malone, who is the project manager and Texas Workforce System liaison, said TEEX will be supporting The Home Depot personnel training needs in Texas. “TEEX is the ideal partner for this type of training because it is statewide, and can insure a consistent program across the state,” she said.

Each new store will hire about 60 full-time and 40 part-time employees, and each new associate is required to have 80 hours of training. Entry-level training presents store associates with the essential skills needed to be successful in their job assignment. In addition, new employees receive product knowledge training to enhance their knowledge of product lines and services.

“We’re going to focus on enhancement training for the new employees being hired and plan to monitor the effectiveness of the training process during the program,” said Pat Wallace of TED, who is the training manager of the grant project. “We’ll be working with their management to provide skills and knowledge that will help employees find long-term success at Home Depot.” Wallace said other TEEX participants in the project include Dr. Harvey Kitzman, Dr. Trina Smith, Bill Lander, Pat McIntyre and Lesa Hill.

In the long-term, this training project could serve as a model to help address the need in Texas for qualified, well-trained employees in the general retailing industry, Malone said. The Home Depot training program aims to decrease employee turnover, increase customer satisfaction, increase market share and customer base, improve productivity and reduce work-related injuries.

"Home Depot has committed tremendous resources to attracting strong candidates and providing a strong infrastructure for training and development," Dennis Donovan, executive vice president of Human Resources for The Home Depot, said in a statement.

The Home Depot is also a part of the National Hiring Partnership, a project that links large national employers with the U.S. Department of Labor and state agencies in an effort to place qualified applicants in open positions through local workforce centers. The Home Depot was the first employer to participate in the National Business Partnerships program.

Billed as the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer, The Home Depot was founded in 1978 and has more than 1,500 stores, plus 52 EXPO Design Centers, and employs about 286,000 associates.

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