Omaha, Nebraska – Omaha-headquartered EAD has demonstrated its continuing commitment to employee development by partnering with the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) to create the “EAD University” program.
Founded in 2001 as Engineering, Automation and Design, Inc., EAD is a full-service engineering firm that provides their clients with engineering design, project and construction management, safety, training and administrative support services. The company specializes in finding project management, mechanical, electrical, structural, process, and controls engineering solutions for food, pharmaceutical and parcel/logistics industry clients. EAD also works closely with their subsidiary company and UL-listed panel fabrication shop, Industrial Panel Solutions, to provide clients with customized industrial control panels.
EAD has 65 associates divided between their headquarters and a new regional office in Memphis, TN, that opened in 2018.
Because technologies and industry practices change quickly, EAD endeavors to ensure that its associates stay abreast of the latest trends and best practices in their fields of expertise. The company provides associates with frequent internal training as well as opportunities to pursue advanced certifications.
Combined, these efforts have cultivated a highly skilled and educated workforce: many senior level engineers are licensed professional engineers with engineer of record certifications in multiple states, while many senior project management staff are certified project management professionals.
EAD’s association with NBDC began in 2017 when consultants produced a market analysis report for the company, says EAD Engineering Director Ed Gaither. Gaither was the company’s director of corporate development when the EAD leadership training curriculum was conceived. “The NBDC analysis was pretty thorough,” he says. “It definitely reinforced what we believed about the market.”
In 2018, NBDC partnered with EAD to develop the EAD University program “to ensure employees are supported in their efforts to better themselves, their team and the company.” The 12 month program was unique in that it was longer than most leadership development programs with participants from all levels of company leadership meeting once a month for a half day on-site at EAD.
Gaither says the sessions were designed to be appropriate for the work at EAD. “The presenters were able to read the room and take the material to the correct level,” he says. “They recognized professional project managers, and they let us talk instead of talking at us.”
He says the sessions addressed soft skills and tactics that can be used to convince and influence people. “The presenters capably role-modeled what we need to do,” Gaither says.
“We have a strong corporate culture and a great team. It was nice to see these same skills and qualities modeled and reinforced by people outside the company. Having that third-party voice whose competence was immediately accepted by our team was a big help,” Gaither says.
He praised the efforts of the NBDC consultants and presenters. “They just get it,” he says. “The range and the depth of the insight they provided were very appropriate. We felt they had a vested interest in our success.”
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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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