The 10 certificate programs available through the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) offer opportunities for business professionals to learn sought-after skills that can be applied in a wide range of work environments. Joel Kucera is one of a growing number of professionals to benefit from NBDC’s programs. Kucera was awarded NBDC’s Certificate in Business Analysis in August, 2019 and immediately began to pursue a Certificate in Project Management.
Kucera is a business process analyst with Lincoln Electric System (LES). LES is a publicly owned power utility that services more than 118,500 residential customers and more than 16,500 commercial and industrial customers in a 200-square-mile area within Lancaster County.
Although his supervisor at LES had found the business analysis training on the NBDC website, Kucera was not unfamiliar with the organization. “I’ve been aware of NBDC for a long time,” he says cheerfully. His father, Loren, is director of the NBDC office in Wayne. LES pays for the training and often provides him with an electric-powered vehicle for the drive to Omaha where he attends certificate classes at UNO’s College of Business Administration.
In his job, Kucera compares LES’s business needs against its existing processes and looks for ways to improve. He says the certificate training was immediately applicable to his work.
“From the first certificate program, I gained knowledge of how to apply different principles of business analysis to what I do every day,” he says. “The instructors incorporated real-world situations into the training, and we were encouraged to think about projects we had worked on, or were working on.”
Each class had about 10 people who were divided into teams, Kucera says. “Small groups like that give a very personal experience and a real chance to ask questions and exchange ideas,” he says.
NBDC has been offering professional certificates since 1993, continually advancing the direction and curriculum to meet evolving needs of business. For example, the Certificate in Project Management program now offers the choice of taking all courses in the classroom or completing a blended program with most requirements provided online.
Many of the certificate programs fulfill the requirements needed to pursue professional certifications. All project management workshops can be used to earn the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential and the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) credential awarded by the Project Management Institute. Workshops also fill Professional Development Units (PDU) requirements to maintain PMP certification.
Other certificate programs NBDC offers include IT Project Management, Advanced Project Management, Leadership, Lean Enterprise, Next Level Lean, Supply Chain Management, Safety Leadership, and Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity.
“We base all of our certificate choices on developing skills that students need to be efficient and successful in their professional roles,” says Beth Giesbrecht, NBDC facilitator and curriculum developer. “We want participants to ‘hit the ground running’ when they get back to work.”Giesbrecht says the goal is to engage the students to improve their performance no matter what certificate they complete. “Our focus is always to impart skills that will benefit the students, their organizations and eventually their community.”
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The Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) helps Nebraska businesses start, grow and develop, by strengthening Nebraska businesses for a healthy economy and prosperous communities. NBDC is a University of Nebraska at Omaha center that provides confidential consulting business development services across Nebraska to entrepreneurs and business owners for the life cycle of their business. NBDC partners with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Wayne State College, and Chadron State College to deliver its services statewide. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the U.S. Department of Commerce (EDA), and other federal, state and private organizations support NBDC. Visit nbdc.unomaha.edu for more information.
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