Designing professional development opportunities for employees in the Animal Health Corridor is the focus of a recent study by researchers from the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University.
“Employees are concerned about the rapid obsolescence of knowledge and skills due to a swiftly changing market,” said Vincent Amanor-Boadu, associate professor of agribusiness economics and management at K-State. “Although their time is limited, they’re willing to invest time and effort to improve their knowledge and skills.”
Professionals surveyed in the corridor indicated they most desired training in leadership, engineering and technology, and communication. Time was rated the most limiting factor to pursuing professional development, and respondents said they prefer on-demand online classes and hybrid formats combining online and face-to-face instruction.
The study results will help K-State develop and deliver professional development programs to enhance productivity of corridor employees while sustaining the competitiveness of agribusiness, animal health and food safety firms in the Animal Health Corridor, which covers an area from Manhattan, Kan., to Columbia, Mo.
“Employers may look at the training support they provide employees as investments. When made right, these investments can lead to significant reductions in costs or enhancements in top-line numbers,” Amanor-Boadu said.
The team surveyed executives, senior managers, middle managers, non-managers and non-executives working in the Animal Health Corridor. Of the 449 responses received, most came from the service industry and non-profit sectors, including government and non-government organizations.
“K-State Olathe is excited to work with industry professionals using innovative methods to design and develop educational programs that address their needs,” said Daniel Richardson, chief executive officer at K-State Olathe.
K-State’s Department of Agricultural Economics offers outreach programs to help the food industry achieve its training objectives. It also is working with industry players and K-State Olathe partners to develop new programs that address specific needs, from sharpening employees’ financial management skills to developing competitiveness in international trade environments.
Industry stakeholders interested in discussing how they can participate in these program development initiatives should contact Amanor-Boadu at firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-532-3520 for more information.