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Iowa Invests In Soft Skills

Iowa Invests in Soft Skills

Driving across the USA was fun and filled with surprises.  During the next few weeks, I will write about and post trek anecdotes here in my blog.  Keep checking my blog for updates and new travel schedules.

Meeting clients on their home turf enhances rapport.

Hunkering down and sampling their culture and their food makes travel fun.

Being upfront and personal takes business relationships to a whole new level.

The map illustrates the route which comprised the 7,718 mile trek.

My sincere thanks to Randy Staab from Mechanical Service Inc. for his persistence and timely follow up prior to and during the Iowa seminars.

Randy exemplified excellent customer service for the benefit of hundreds of Iowa mechanical workers.  Randy’s dedication to education speaks for itself.

Three separate seminars were scheduled and promoted among mechanical workers and attendance was robust. Journeymen and apprentices alike gained valuable soft skill insight.

Hundreds of Iowa mechanical workers were trained in soft skills thanks to the cooperation among the Mechanical Contractors Association of Iowa, Inc. and two United Association labor partners: UA Local 33 in Des Moines and UA Local 125 in Cedar Rapids.

What are soft skills? These include positive communication, teamwork, listening, neatness, conveying empathy and effective problem resolution.

Anthony Kenyon, a third year UA Local 33 apprentice shared this about the seminar, “Learning these skills sooner than later is ideal for the two years remaining in the apprenticeship program.  The seminar’s relevant instruction helped me to build more confidence when serving customers.”

College advisory boards have been recommending more soft skill education for the future workforce.  Based on employer feedback among contractors, soft skills are just as important as the technical skills in terms of career longevity and success.

What are soft skills? These include positive communication, teamwork, listening, neatness, conveying empathy and effective problem resolution.

In Des Moines, the UA Local 33 attendees engaged in loud and interactive exercises in which we got up close and personal.

It got rowdy and fun sometimes and that what makes training engaging.

UA Local 33 members have BIG personalities with an aabundance of humor.

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The soft skills seminars included numerous instructional design media.

Video, audio along with interactive and collaborative exercises kept folks involved.

Attendees worked in teams to build ACROSTIC renditions of the learned soft skills.

Hundreds of Iowa mechanical workers were trained in soft skills.

“The importance of soft skill training is vital for field mechanical workers along with those who work in the office,” said Scot Stoltenberg, Executive Vice President for the Mechanical Contractors Association of Iowa. “Seeing the packed rooms of our members reinforced the importance of ongoing education.”

UA Local 125 members filled their auditorium to capacity.  Clearly, soft skills education is a high priority among mechanical works who seek career success and long-term employment.

Kyle Askam, UA Local 125 Training Instructor, saw my soft skills presentation at HVAC Excellence two years ago. Since then, Kyle envisioned Iowa soft skills training to enhance and broaden UA Local 125 education.

Generous Iowa hospitality, among all three locations, helped to make everyone’s time together fun and informative. The future mechanical workforce benefits from a well-rounded education between technical and soft skills.

While I was in Des Moines, a hankering for Iowa beef began a quest for a local restaurant.

A quick Google search resulted in the Iowa Beef Steak House.

Two factors attracting me to this establishment: (1) it was near my hotel and (2) the restaurant’s name said it all.

And yes, it was delicious.

Next, I am driving south to serve clients in South Carolina and Alabama.  It is likely that I will visit with friends along the way.  Click below to see my travel schedule.

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Steve Coscia

The road from professional musician to thirty-year customer service veteran to best-selling author and speaker is not a typical career path, but Steve Coscia may have started a new trend.

Coscia is one of the most widely published and quoted authorities in the customer service industry. He has published more than 200 articles, four books and a series of training DVDs. His college curriculum is taught at institutions of higher learning throughout the United States and Canada.

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