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Cultivating a place to learn

August 4, 2022 By     0 Comments

Learning management system. Learning Center. Learning path.

There appears to be a lot of learning taking place in the propane industry today, and that’s a good thing, especially as it relates to workforce recruitment and development. But sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down in the terminology or not know exactly where to go for propane industry safety and training information.

Chris Hanson and his colleagues at the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) travel around the industry to make sure propane marketers are, well, learning about the opportunities available to them.

We caught up with Hanson, who directs PERC’s Learning Center and educational projects, at the Western Propane Trade Show & Convention earlier this year in Reno, Nevada. We asked him about the terminology, the learning process (another term for our list) and the steps that propane marketers can take to educate themselves and their employees.

First, the terminology.

⦁ Learning management system (LMS): This is a broad term, used across industries, that encompasses all types of learning. It’s a system that facilitates online training.

⦁ Learning Center: This is PERC’s term for the LMS that it offers to the propane industry. Industry members can access the Learning Center for free at training.propane.com.

⦁ Learning path: The term describes a specific program or path that industry members can follow to learn about a part of the industry.

Hanson

Hanson

In late 2019, PERC purchased the certification assets of the Certified Employee Training Program (CETP) from the National Propane Gas Association after having owned and developed the content portion of the training since 2002.

At the time, PERC also restructured its safety, education and compliance team and vowed to create innovative training and safety materials and new ways to deploy the material and access the training.

Early in 2020, PERC introduced its “new-and-improved” CETP program, redesigned to feature shorter programs and flexible access options, available in the Learning Center.

The training has been adapted, Hanson says, to make it more engaging for the industry. CETP is offered alongside safety and technical training as well as market and industry training categories and programs.

“So now that we’re two years into this, the comfort level’s there,” he says of the Learning Center. “We’re at roughly 35,000 users, which is the number we earmarked for Year Five.”

We spoke with Hanson after he presented during a PERC update in Reno but before he was to join Garrett Johnson, Learning Center coordinator, for another session on the interactive resource. Their focus: Continue to hit the industry with information about the Learning Center and be as accessible as possible to help the users navigate the site.

“We’re putting a lot of support in there,” Hanson adds, “meaning tutorials that talk about not only the content but how to use the system.”

According to Hanson, the customization built into the Learning Center gives industry members more flexibility to adapt the training to their needs. He relates the process to pushing a shopping cart down an aisle and choosing what you need at the time instead of getting everything at once. This allows the users to streamline the training process.

Hanson also recognizes that everyone learns differently. Maybe a marketer or instructor prefers online training, classroom training, hands-on training or a blend for their learners. Maybe the process involves combining a company’s PowerPoint presentation or other types of training with tools in the Learning Center.

The possibilities are many with how the propane industry is training its workforce today. It’s time now to learn about how they can help you and your company.

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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