I must admit I’m just like the rest of you. If I hear about an offer that sounds too good to be true, I immediately dismiss it as “too good to be true.” I have learned this lesson the hard way — usually relating to some type of exercise equipment that promises miraculous body-sculpting results with little to no effort. These hopeful purchases always end up in my attic waiting for the next garage sale. So when a sales rep for a local computer-training company first tried to sell me his services essentially as “free” through the Small Business Employee Training program (SBET), I was 100% skeptical and determined not to get suckered into his scheming web. But after a little investigation and research, I uncovered a true gem of government program that, over the years, has benefitted BBR immensely. And, yes, it really was FREE!
The basic premise of the program is this: If you are a Louisiana company, your employees can each take up to $3,000 worth of computer training courses per year and have those fees reimbursed by the state after the appropriate paperwork is submitted
I wasn’t sure how valuable computer training would be for BBR. Almost every one of our employees is a college grad and very computer savvy. Most of them are from the generation that learned how to trouble-shoot their parents’ IT issues while doing their fourth-grade homework. But I have come to realize that there is always something new to learn in life — and in Excel — and if you can walk away from a one-day computer training class having learned a few new tricks that increases your productivity, then it was time well spent. So for this reason, we decided to pursue the benefits of the program and complete the necessary paperwork required by the state to get it underway.
Over the years, our employees have taken a wide variety of computer classes and the program has helped our group become more efficient and knowledgeable in the process. I have been very happy with the quality and level of classes offered through Lantec, which is on the approved vendor list for the SBET program. Our employees have taken advanced classes in Word, Excel and Quickbooks. Lantec also offers software training in some pretty highly specialized programs for the graphic design industry like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Ilustrator and Adobe Creative Suite and our creative staff has learned some valuable and useful tips. Our IT director has taken multiple levels of courses in Dreamweaver, Flash and HTML — web-related software that has increased his knowledge and skill level tremendously in the design and production of websites for our clients.
But the biggest coup came when we asked for and received approval to add an out-of-state certified instructor for a program called Daylite, a project management software, to the SBET’s approved vendor list. We hired the instructor to travel to our office and give the entire office a two-day seminar for extensive training on the newly implemented program. The state reimbursed us $3,500 for this training, too!
I would estimate that over a four-year span, BBR has received almost $15,000 worth of employee computer training — for free. It’s been an extremely valuable resource for us, and I’m so impressed with the program and the professionalism of the group in Baton Rouge administering it, that I love to recommend it to anyone who will listen. If you’re interested in improving the quality of your company’s workforce through skill development, check out this program. It may seem too good to be true, but it’s totally legitimate.
Now, if I could interest you in a barely used AbCirclePro — guaranteed to totally eliminate all belly fat with little to no effort on your part — give me a call!
The basic guidelines of the can be found at the Louisiana Workforce Commission website.
As a side note, a former employee of BBR, Ryan Petticrew, is a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) at Skylark Services. They are also on the SBET’s approved vendor list. You can get in touch with Ryan at 337-234-8121 or [email protected]