February 9, 2015

This past weekend, ITC began its 38th year of doing business — something few training suppliers have ever been able to achieve.

While I have tried to be conscientious in not using this blog for cheerleading, today I’m going to make an exception and mention a few of the highlights associated with this company.

On February 7, 1977 ITC began business as a corporation. William J. Schmidt, Gerald H. Kaiz and I were the founders.

This post, however, is intended to recognize some of the “outside” individuals who helped make ITC’s success possible.

Leading that list, of course, are the customers — more than 6000 organizations worldwide —- corporations, education institutions and others.

And it’s not just that number that contributed to ITC’s longevity.

No, it is the more important benefits that ITC services and courseware delivered to individuals in the workforce of that 6000.

In the earliest years, Duke Power made their Riverbend Steam Station in North Carolina available for our video crews. A retired Duke employee, G. B. Talley and his small team, helped us insure that what was shot would show real equipment in real settings along with the best in work and safety practice.

I also remember, in those early videotape years, receiving a letter from a young South American woman thanking ITC for exposing her husband and his co-workers to hardhats and steel-toed shoes — safety precautions they had never seen before.

One year, a former president of Ford Motor Company invited us to Detroit in order to re-do a massive UAW training project that had been botched by a consortium of a dozen Michigan universities. A project, incidentally, that was paper-based — but, turn to ITC he did because of the reputation of the many ITC customer-focused employees.

Mike Tubbs, Alabama Power, and Al Neimi, Weyerhaeuser, made it possible for us to host a large annual conference for American process and manufacturing companies.

A former president of Tidewater Community College pioneered computer skills proficiency as a requirement for graduation — the first such initiative in the country — and one that used ITC’s videodiscs as the standard.

And one can never forget the courageous actions of the DeKalb County School Board (Georgia’s largest school system) for having the faith and resources to invest in a new concept, “Family Technology Resource Centers,” in order to bring job opportunities to the unemployed while, at the same time, uniting children, parents and grandparents in a grand scheme to improve learning for all through our interactive videodisc courseware.

Shortly thereafter, Tommy Thompson, then-Governor of Wisconsin and, later, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush, repeated that successful model in Milwaukee.

Of course there are hundreds of other valid examples of customers, acting as partners, that made the first 37 years possible.

Thanks, too, to the three “learning technology” cheerleaders who must be celebrated for “getting the word out” when few Americans were even aware of the phrase, “learning technology.” Ray Fox, “Society for Applied Learning Technology” (SALT); Rockley Miller, “The Videodisc Monitor;” and Gloria Gery, author, consultant and pioneer in the knowledge-to-performance arena paved the road for all of us.

Finally, I remember the dozens of unique and exceptional employees who were the people who actually built this organization. A special thank you to them all!

More on Wednesday – – –

— Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning (Mondays & Wednesdays)