Excellence in communication

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Employees complete skills training course

The Excellence in Consortium and Labour and Advanced Education recently held a course on enhancing communication skills for a group of employees from Oxford Frozen Foods and Weston Bakeries. Instructor Lorna MacIsaac (seated centre) and Helen Reade of Oxford Frozen Foods (standing centre) are shown with grads (in no order) Natasha Porter and John Weatherbee of Weston Bakeries and Rhonda Bennett, Christina Chown, Huw Davies, Dave Dodge, Andrew Gayton, Grant Hurley and Davey Rector.

OXFORD – Employees from a pair of Cumberland County firms were recent graduates of a program offered by the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium.

The training program was aimed at enhancing important fundamental communication skills for manufacturers and was offered by the EMC and the provincial Department of Labour and Advanced Education.

The graduating class is the latest of 13 programs ranging from communication skills for frontline workers to immediate excel for manufacturers being held in Halifax, the South Shore and northern Nova Scotia with more than 100 participants.

EMC Canada field service advisor Greg Durnford said the cluster training program focuses on essential skills needed by workers in manufacturing facilities. The benefit of having participants in class from a range of local manufactures is great as knowledge sharing enhances the training experience offered by Labour and Advanced Education.

Durnford said the driving force behind the success of the programs are the three regional project teams made up of representatives from the manufacturers the program is designed to serve. Those teams steer the ship when it comes to topic selection, specific training needs within a course, selection of course instructors and scheduling.

The latest class, which took place with the assistance of Oxford Frozen Foods, brought together staff from Weston Bakeries in Amherst and Oxford Frozen Foods.

At the conclusion of the program, Durnford said participants agreed the content was relevant with topics such as having difficult conversations and dealing with generational issues that they face in their workplaces.

The other understanding that developed from the program is that the challenges they face are not unique. Sharing stories and ideas with the class enhanced the learning experience and broadened the combined knowledge base.

A second fundamental communications skills for manufacturers program started Feb. 14 in Oxford and Durnford said there are plans to have programs in Amherst in the spring.


Organizations: EMC, Manufacturing Consortium, Department of Labour and Advanced Education Oxford Frozen Foods

Geographic location: OXFORD, Cumberland County, Halifax South Shore Northern Nova Scotia Amherst

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