JLG begins university

September 10, 1999|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. - Friday marked the official opening of JLG University, an ambitious educational partnership between Fulton County's largest employer and Penn State Mont Alto.

The partnership will establish college-level courses for JLG employees, employees of its major suppliers and customers, all with free tuition.

Residents not connected to JLG can also can take classes on a tuition basis.

JLG will spend nearly $1 million to launch the program, said L. David Black, JLG chairman, president and CEO, at a press conference Friday.

Classroom space will be made available at the company's McConnellsburg plant, at the Mont Alto campus, through distance learning hookups with other colleges and universities and through the Internet, said David Goldenberg, CEO of the Mont Alto campus.

"The creation of JLG University breaks new ground in corporate education because it is the realization that companies must educate not only their own workforce but also that of suppliers and customers," Goldenberg said.


"Half of the corporate universities in the nation have a relationship with a university, but none will have a relationship quite like this one. Our alliance creates opportunities for employees to be on-going learners outside the formal classroom."

Penn State's major role will be in arranging courses on its own campus, in the Penn State system and through other colleges and universities, all for a fee that will be paid by JLG.

According to Black, JLG University will be organized into five units or colleges: professional development, leadership development, skilled trades, customer support and supply chain.

They will offer workshops and seminars, credit and non-credit courses, certificate programs and accredited associate, undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

The courses are tuition-free for JLG employees and the employees of the company's suppliers and its customers' employees.

"Our people are our greatest asset and being able to give them the tools to meet the challenge of a changing and growing marketplace is of key importance," Black said.

The courses will be open to area residents on a tuition basis. Several are already enrolled in the associate degree program, said Janet Hollenshead, dean of the new JLG University.

Margaret Taylor, executive director of the Fulton Industrial Development Association, said the new program will benefit the community.

"There is no college campus in Fulton County. It's great that they are opening their doors to area residents for credit and non-credit courses," she said.

Taylor said some members of the local Chamber of Commerce have already taken advantage of a Dale Carnegie Course sponsored by JLG.

JLG reported its strongest sales year ever in fiscal 1999 which ended July 31. According to Black, the company reported sales of $720 million, an increase of 36 percent over the $530 million reported for 1998.

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