The Catalyst for New
The Workplace Context
The Skills Improvement Program at the Molson-Edmonton company is the venue for this action research project and begins by describing the context of the program. Molson-Edmonton is a well-established beverage producing operation that supplies a variety of beers to the food services and the retail industry. It is a national company that has been in existence since 1786. Production operations function on a 24 hour a day basis. The mid-sized unionized company employs roughly 135 individuals including plant production and office personnel. The average age of employees is 46 and the majority have completed grade 12 and some post-secondary training.
The companys workplace history, within the past several years, has been characterized by a number of pivotal changes, events and critical trends. The events include a company merger, adoption of a participative management style, new health, safety and environment regulations, new production equipment and rapidly emerging technological changes. These factors along with the companys commitment to ongoing employee training were the incentive for mounting the Skills Improvement Program (SIP) in partnership with NorQuest College in the fall of 1996.
The Skills Improvement Program, now in its sixth year, has operated on a part-time, part-year schedule. Program structure is organized along identified needs and interests of employees and family members who enroll on a voluntary basis. Courses are offered in the essential skills of computer literacy, reading and writing strategies, math refresher, notetaking and General Education Development. Literacy courses are self-paced to accommodate participants own rate of learning while courses in computer literacy are conducted over two to six hour sessions. Classes are most often held in the afternoon or evening after employees shifts and on their own time. Generally participants average nine hours of learning over a part year.
|Previous Page||Contents||Next Page|