Tech training Featured

6:56am EDT November 4, 2003
Nothing is done by hand these days, says Tom McGovern.

"We have software for the processes we used to do by hand," says McGovern, director of human resources at Danis Building Construction Co., headquartered in Dayton and with offices in Columbus and Cincinnati. "There's project management software, estimating software and project administration software. Plus we have our own in-house system that employees need to learn."

That was just one reason the company instituted Danis University, a formal training system which focuses on project engineers. Employees are trained on all the technology they need to know during the course of their careers, as well as in nine additional areas: Danis processes, estimating, industry basics, surveying and layout, business development, accounting, management development, systems and materials and safety.

"We hire good people with technical or engineering degrees," says company President John Danis. "A lot of them are not exposed in their coursework to business classes like accounting."

Danis University is designed to provide employees with a more rounded skill set. And Danis feels the program has other benefits, as well.

"It was taking several years to move project engineers through the training and experience they needed to become project managers," he says. "Now we can move them through at a faster rate, and we'll have the best employee we can at every level in the company."

That, he says, equates to better service and more value to the customer.

"Because the employee is better-rounded, he or she can better figure out where he or she can add value sooner," Danis says.

Since the program is new, Danis says measurements on return on investment have not been compiled, but he is confident the return will be high.

"We're getting a lot of comments from employees that they are learning things they didn't know," he says. "It's already raising the knowledge level."

McGovern says that eventually, all of the company's 350 employees will go through the university. And the program will give the company an edge when it comes to hiring and retaining quality employees, says Danis.

"In today's age, employees are looking to see how working for a particular company will help their careers," he says. "It's incumbent on the employer, if he wants to grow and prosper, to provide the training and experience the employee needs to succeed. If you don't, the employee will go somewhere that does." How to reach: Danis Building Construction Co., (614) 761-8385 or (937) 228-1225