The Xavier Leadership Center offers retraining programs for laid-off employees in Wilmington

Federal and state emergency grants make Xavier's retraining programs possible for ABX Air employees | April 29, 2009

The Xavier Leadership Center, which offers a variety of professional leadership training programs for businesses and corporations, is teaming up with ABX Air representatives to offer retraining to employees affected by DHL’s decision to shut down its operations in Wilmington, Ohio.

DHL announced in November 2008 that it would be cutting 9,500 jobs in the U.S., including more than 7,000 workers in Wilmington, where it operates a hub with ABX Air and Astar Air Cargo. Both companies are likely to close their Wilmington operations when DHL leaves.

The announcement and its impact on the community caught the attention of Bruce Miller, managing partner of the Xavier Leadership Center.
“With all of the attention Wilmington was receiving, I began thinking more and more about the community and their families,” Miller said.

One of every three Wilmington households is affected by DHL’s exit. DHL, ABX Air and Astar Air Cargo have employees in half of Ohio’s 88 counties. Clinton, Fayette, Greene, Highland and Montgomery counties are absorbing 85% of the job cuts.

Miller contacted ABX Air representatives in early 2009.

“A number of employees identified specific skills and industry-recognized certifications required by potential employers, yet they were having difficulty getting these programs offered at one of the two on-site transition centers,” Miller said.

Miller is offering the Project Management Professional program to laid-off workers who need the training for re-employment. The program prepares participants to sit for the certification exam, recognized as the national standard for project management excellence.

“It addresses all aspects of project management, from knowledge to practical application to ensuring participants are fully prepared to sit for the exam,” Miller said. “We even included the application process for certification. All the employees have to do after completing the program is to pass the exam.”

Wilmington was awarded nearly $4 million in emergency funds from the U.S. Department of Labor to pay for retraining and has access to additional dollars from Ohio’s Career Advancement Account. Working closely with ABX Air and Ohio’s Workforce Development Committee, Miller was able to access these funds to make Xavier’s programs available to ABX Air employees.

Professor Tim Kloppenborg of Xavier’s Williams College of Business is teaming with Denny Evans, a former Procter & Gamble manager, to teach the professional management program.

The Xavier Leadership Center is also discussing offering other certificate programs with DHL, ABX Air and Astar Air Cargo to support their employees’ efforts to find new jobs.