Now that you have a sense of your members' needs it is time to build the program. You need to determine the specific objectives of your program and how to meet them. Working through these questions will help you build your program model. Once you have a picture of what your program will look like, contact a union with a similar model for additional information and feedback.
Look at what your members raised as needs and interests during the organizational needs assessment. For example: to qualify for a better job, to be able to help my children with homework, to get my high school equivalency, to help me in everyday life.
They need to respond to your members' interests, while keeping in mind the discussions you had with union representatives and with management. They can provide a broader context in which to operate the program. Examples of specific objectives are: to provide an opportunity to strengthen reading, writing, and math skills; to encourage education as a life long process; to foster an understanding of labour's role in the workplace and in society; to improve communications in the workplace; to provide access to further training opportunities.
"For me it was great because it was at work and it was free. I could not afford togo on my own."Program Participant
Holding the classes in the workplace and at least partly on work time makes it easier for your members to attend. Holding classes as part of the workday also makes it easier to learn. The end of along shift is not the best time to go to class. The most effective learning often happens when there is the least disruption in your members' regular work day. This way the class won't conflict with family or other responsibilities, or with transportation arrangements.