OVERLAND PARK — The COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies and universities to revisit how to receive and deliver necessary training to professionals. Without location as a factor, University of Kansas Lifelong & Professional Education (LPE) pivoted hands-on, in-person training to online delivery. This allows top instructors to work with the university to train individuals around the world, increasing the diversity of peers, flexibility of training options and access to opportunities.
As supply chains were strained over the past year and a half, the need for a well-organized warehouse and well-trained supervisors was magnified. LPE answered with expanded online, self-paced certifications and courses in maintenance management, supply chain, logistics, technology management, project management and more.
“We enjoy seeing everyone together in person, but the increase in access and accommodation, especially for technology and logistics – two critical areas heightened by the pandemic – allows professionals around the world to be trained by top leaders in their field without having to travel,” said Kevin Curry, technology management program manager for LPE.
Over the past 15 years, hundreds of professionals have completed programs such as the Certificate in Systematic Layout Planning for Lean Facilities, Certificate in Warehouse and Distribution Center Layout and Lean Six Sigma.
Longstanding partnerships with industry help ensure classes are relevant and applicable to real-world scenarios. This includes the 63-year partnership between Richard Muther & Associates and LPE. Current president and owner Lee Hales, who’s based out of Atlanta, has been teaching warehouse layout courses for LPE off and on since 1975. A graduate of KU and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a prolific industrial planning author, Hales has consulted with companies including Amazon, Caterpillar, General Motors, Ford, Coca-Cola, The Container Store and many more.
Hales teaches courses in Certificate in Systematic Layout Planning (SLP) for Lean Facilities and the Certificate in Warehouse and Distribution Center Layout. He is the co-author of Systematic Layout Planning (SLP) 4th edition. More than 400 individuals around the globe have completed the warehouse and distribution center certificate alone.
Training maintenance professionals around the world is commonplace for instructor Joel Levitt, who’s been with KU for nine years and recently helped launch the new Certificate in Leadership Skills for Maintenance Supervisors and Managers. Over his 35 years of experience, he’s trained more than 20,000 maintenance leaders from 3,000 organizations in 39 countries, and he has written nearly 20 maintenance management texts on the topic.
“Online courses give unprecedented access for people to gain this kind of training, especially in the maintenance world,” Levitt said. “Every factory or big facility in the U.S. has a maintenance supervisor. They are the key players in the effectiveness of maintenance, and there’s very little out there for them as far as needed, specialized training. These courses are important in helping to fill this gap.”