Penn College Launches Skills-Assessment Program

Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Pennsylvania College of Technology is concluding a six-month pilot program for an innovative skills-assessment program.

Development Needs Assessment (DNA) for Business is a competency-based platform that identifies areas of strength and opportunity related to job skills, and provides targeted recommendations for training to maximize return on investment.

The pilot was funded, in part, by a Pennsylvania Department of Education grant designed to help companies in the state further educate employees.

Christopher P. Ray, program developer and executive director for business development at WDCE, noted that Penn College created DNA for Business “in response to the urgent need companies have been expressing regarding skills gaps, and their desire for assistance in addressing them.”

DNA for Business draws upon WDCE’s extensive background in competency-based training, and industry expert input from faculty, trainers and staff.

“Many decades of experience and some of the top training specialists were involved in constructing the program,” Ray added.

Another feature of the survey-based tool is a design that maximizes data collection with minimal disruption to workflow. The tiered approach looks broadly across the most common skills associated with leadership, performance management, business functions, employee engagement and operations; then provides a customizable, in-depth analysis of competencies specific to any job category. An employee can complete each step in 10 to 15 minutes.

The pilot served 13 companies and included more than 1,000 employees.

“While companies confirmed some of what they already suspected prior to engaging in the DNA process, many uncovered new opportunities to improve both skills and processes,” Ray said.

Companies have already used the data to target training resources to their greatest areas of need. With the pilot nearing completion, Penn College is preparing to roll out the program to companies on a broader scale.

For more information on workforce development at Penn College, visit WDCE or call 570-327-4775.

For more about the college, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University