Online Diversity Training Now Offered at Kirkwood

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (May 19, 2014)—Kirkwood Community College and Diversity Focus have created an online diversity training course for companies to break down barriers and improve productivity.

Typically, the concept of providing cultural and diversity training is based on the understanding that it is the right thing to do from an ethical standpoint; however, there is also bottom-line support for providing this type of training. Because of globalization, cultural diversity training can affect the bottom line by allowing different approaches to business issues based on culture. Incorporating diversity helps a company increase productivity by encouraging workers to assist each other, using their strengths where they are needed. Historically, employees from minority races, women and older workers have been pushed aside and not encouraged to take part in the overall company culture. Providing cultural and diversity training to everyone in the company can help correct the historic mindset concerning the use of these employees.

According to Chad Simmons, executive director of Diversity Focus, “Diversity and inclusion training can help employees and employers create a workplace environment that will improve performance by reducing the impact that biases and stereotypes have on talent retention. Though training is not the magic pill for every problem, it will help improve an employee’s understanding of their role in maintaining a culture that engages everyone.”

Staff from Kirkwood, City of Cedar Rapids, City of Iowa City and Mercy Medical Center participated in the pilot program. These companies felt online diversity training was a good conversation starter for a sensitive subject. Kirkwood is working with Diversity Focus on the second interactive phase. This class should be available by the end of the summer.

Kirkwood Vice President of Continuing Education and Training Services, Kim Becicka says, “Kirkwood is a workforce resource. The online course developed with Diversity Focus falls right in line with training we offer, designed to make business the best it can be.”

The online course takes less than 45 minutes to complete and consists of video instruction and an assessment. For more information about the program, please call 319-398-1022 or visit www.kirkwood.edu/ce.

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