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					                           “Retooling Your Workforce
                             with Critical IT Skills”
                                      Sandia National Laboratories
                                        Information Technology/
                                      Computer Science Retraining
                                             Program




                                                                                        Sandia
Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin   National
Company, for the United States Department of Energy under contract DE-AC04-94AL8500.    Laboratories
                       Introduction

 Sandia National Laboratories’ mission is to provide science
 & engineering support for many aspects of national security
including stockpile stewardship, mitigating the spread of
nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and preventing
disruption of critical infrastructures.

 To provide this service to the Nation, heavy reliance on
information technology and computer science skills (IT/CS)
is paramount. Providing this service also requires staff to
have high levels of security clearances in addition to the
requisite IT/CS skills.

 According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projections,
three of the top four fastest growing occupations between
1998-2008 are jobs related to IT/CS.



                                                      Sandia
                                                      National
                                                      Laboratories
Intro – External Job Market




                              Sandia
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                  Introduction -   continued




 In March 2000, Sandia was faced with a critical IT skills
shortage which could not be met solely by a hiring program.

 The external job market was experiencing a shortage and
recruiting competition at universities was fierce.

 The requirement to have security clearances for much of
our work created an additional challenge.

 Recruiting and retention of people who have these critical
skills required an innovative intervention at the enterprise
level. Sandia’s IT/CS Retraining Program was born out of
this need.



                                                     Sandia
                                                     National
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      Customer Expectations & Available Options

 Customer wanted a training program which could produce
IT professionals with a graduate computer science degree ---
                        IN 3 MONTHS!

 Training options available included Sandia’s:
   •Tuition Assistant Program
   •University Part-Time
   •Special Master/PhD Programs
   •One Year on Campus
   •In-house courses
   •Existing certification programs (vendor, academic &
    vocational)

 Internal “Retraining” determined best choice because:
   • customized curriculum (Sandia & customer)
   • controllable schedule

 Reusable model applicable to other critical skill areas
                                                     Sandia
                                                     National
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             Program Framework – What it Looks Like
                                 IT/CS Retraining Program Processes
                                                                                            Release Dates
   Steering                    Steering Committee Oversight Meetings
                                                                                            Negotiated &
  Committee                                                                                   Students
   Formed                                                                                   Transferred
  (NM/CA)                                                                                       (NM)
                             Program               Posting and                Selections
                           Infrastructur           Interviews                 Finalized
                             e Defined              (NM/CA)                   (NM/CA)
                             (NM/CA)
START
                Classes                                                                Classes End
                 Begin                                                                  (NM/CA)
               (NM/CA)



                                              Mentors               Org
                              Final
                                              Assigned            Specific
                           Alignment                                                        Program
                                               (NM)              Curriculum
                          Presentations                                                    Celebration
                                                                  Selected
                              (NM)                                                          (NM/CA)
                                                                   (NM)
   Program
 Improvement
                                            Program                      Transfer to
Implementation
   (NM/CA)
                                            Evaluatio                    New Orgs
                                               n                           (NM)
                                             (NM/CA)                                           Sandia
                                                                                      National
              Continuous Project Lead Monitoring/Coordination/Improvements/Project Tracking
                                                                                               Laboratories
                   Program Development

 Funding and championship from the top:

  •     Executive Vice President
  •     Vested Vice Presidents
  •     Directors
  •     Department Managers


 Steering Committee formed:

  •     Receiving organizations representatives
  •     Corporate Training & Development (CTD)

 Four Tracks formed (see handout):

  1.   Fundamental Software Development (NM)
  2.   Data Exploitation and Analysis (NM)
  3.   System Administration (NM)
  4.   Information Systems & Engineering Analysis (CA)
                                                     Sandia
                                                       National
                                                       Laboratories
                  Program Infrastructure

Program infrastructure was defined and formed:
   Facilities acquired – co-location, labs, offices, classroom
   Logistics – equipment, furniture, support processes
   Retraining organization created
   Full-time IT Manager/Teaching Assistant assigned
   Project leads appointed
   Curriculum finalized – developed for specific needs
     • Blended Learning Deliveries
        Distance Learning (National Technological Univ)
        Computer Based (CDs and Video)
        Instructor-led classroom
        Facilitated independent study (WebCT & lab)
     • Blend of commercial off-the-shelf/internally-developed
     • Fast-paced/intense but full-time learning environment
                                                        Sandia
                                                        National
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               Post & Bid Process




Post & bid process included:
  New Mexico

   selection criteria based on specific org needs
   questionnaire for collecting interview data
   interview teams comprised of representatives of
     receiving organizations
   students transferred into new organization to
     start program

  California

   Post & bid to select candidates to participate
   Same org but classes brought on-site and work
  in between classes

                                               Sandia
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                     Classes Begin

Classes begin (and run from 5 to 7 months):
   Orientation – expectations, schedule, objectives,
    program structure, curriculum, and logistics

   Receiving Org presentations – receiving managers
     present org overview, describe IT career opportunities,
     & IT projects to facilitate student selection of org

   Organization mentors assigned – work with students
    to help assimilate into new organization

   TRACKS 1 & 2 – Org-specific courses selected after
     core courses with help of organization mentor and
     teaching assistant

   Track 4 – On-site classes then back to work
                                                    Sandia
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                       Classes End


CLASSES END:
 Program Celebration (NM/CA) – Luncheon

   Signify end of retraining and recognize accomplishments.
   Students receive certificates or Certification earned
   (stakeholders, mgrs, family)

 NM students transferred into new organizations to begin
   new IT careers

 CA students remain in same organization but begin new
   IT projects




                                                    Sandia
                                                    National
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             Program Evaluation


Program Evaluation
   Purpose is to document Program results and provide
   feedback for continuous improvement and Program
   adjustments

Evaluation data obtained through:

 Periodic student feedback sessions
 Student performance feedback at critical milestones
   (exams, grades/GPA, progress reports)
 Specific course feedback
 Steering Committee feedback
 After placement feedback (manager/student)
 Director/VP/EVP feedback


                                              Sandia
                                              National
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         Challenges and Lessons Learned




Challenge:
       To administer challenging, intense, but
       “do-able” retraining program


Lessons Learned:
   •   Extended schedule from 6 to 7 months
   •   Added preparatory courses to curriculum
   •   Changed some core courses from “for credit” to
       “audit”
   •   Added a week in middle of Program to
       accommodate personal leave requests
                                                 Sandia
                                                 National
                                                 Laboratories
      Challenges and Lessons Learned




Challenge:
       To determine optimum selection criteria
       for predicting success


Lessons Learned:
  •    Selection criteria expanded
  •    During interviews emphasized Program
       intensity and performance requirements




                                                 Sandia
                                                 National
                                                 Laboratories
    Challenges and Lessons Learned




Challenge:
      To insure placement of all students at
      end of Program


Lesson Learned:
      Placement probability increased by
      only selecting candidates who had
      more than one manager committing
      to place them upon graduation from
      the Program


                                               Sandia
                                               National
                                               Laboratories
    Challenges and Lessons Learned




Challenge:
      To assimilate students into receiving
      organizations while in the Program


Lesson Learned:
      Added more structure and monitoring
      to Mentoring Program




                                              Sandia
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              Program Benefits



•   Helped increase critical IT skills pool
•   Provided opportunity for top performers to
    change careers without changing companies
•   Created internal openings for less critical skill
    areas (which could be filled both internally
    and externally more easily than IT jobs)
•   Graduates came to their new jobs with
    domain experience
•   Most graduates already had appropriate
    security clearances




                                                  Sandia
                                                  National
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              Program Benefits


•   Graduates had a corporate commitment and
    were acclimated to the Sandia culture,
    processes and procedures
•   Graduates had benefit of curriculum
    developed to meet specific SNL needs
•   Model provides for flexibility
         Customer Satisfaction –
        What was most beneficial?

“Student was able to step into organization
at full speed with no start-up time.”
                       - Receiving Manager
“Program provided a chance for
outstanding people to change careers and
move to an area of corporate need.”
                                  - Director
“Student brings domain expertise that we
could not get any other way coupled with
the intensive IT training.”
                            - Vice President
“A big boost to morale.”
                  - Executive Vice President

                                               Sandia
                                               National
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    Audience Participation Activity
        Questions & Answers
             Question 1



1.What critical skills
  shortage do you have in
  your organization to
  which you might be able
  to apply this model?




                                      Sandia
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    Audience Participation Activity
        Questions & Answers
             Question 2



2.Do you have a similar
  retraining program?




                                      Sandia
                                      National
                                      Laboratories
     Audience Participation Activity
         Questions & Answers
              Question 3




3.What do you think is the
  fastest growing occupation
  for the period 2000-2010
  according to DOL
  predictions?



                                       Sandia
                                       National
                                       Laboratories
   Audience Participation Activity
       Questions & Answers
            Question 4



4.Desktop publishing is the
  sixth fastest growing
  occupation for 2000-2010.
 • Could this model be
   adapted to meet this
   need?
 • What might be done
   differently?
                                     Sandia
                                     National
                                     Laboratories
                                           References

1.   ASTD Training & Development (August 2000), Getting to Know the Employee of the
     Future
2.   Bavendam Research Inc, Special Report, 10 Secrets to Being an Employer of Choice –
     Attract and Retain the Best!, 9/29/00, www.bavendam.com
3.   ISPI Performance & Instruction (April 1996), Increasing the Congruence Between Course
      Design and Delivery: The Value-Added Hand-Off Approach
4.   ISPI Performance Improvement (January 1997), Eight Components of Program
      Implementation
5.   ISPI Performance Improvement (April 1997), Mentoring for Increased Performance:
      Benefits and Key Principles
6.   Technical Training--Learning Technology for Performance Improvement (July/August
     1999), California’s Answer to the Skills Shortage
7.   Training (May 2000), How to Hang on to IT Talent
8.   On-Line Learning (October 2000), A Few Good People – E-learning companies pull out all
     the stops to find qualified employees in a tight labor market
9.   Inside Technology Training (February 2000), Staffing – IT Talent Slips through Crack
10. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 3b. The 10 fastest growing occupations, 1998-2008,
     http://stats.bls.gov/
                                                                                            Sandia
                                                                                            National
                                                                                            Laboratories

				
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