Centriq Responds to COVID-19
With the health and safety of our students, our employees and their families being of utmost importance Centriq Training began preparing for the COVID-19 pandemic in early March.
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March 5: Centriq leadership team proactively announced that beginning on Monday, March 9 all training classes (both Corporate and Career) would transition to Live Virtual Training formats. (Read about Live Virtual Training at Centriq) All employees would have the option to work from home.
March 9: With only four days’ notice, Centriq’s IT Career Program Instructor team and Operations team transitioned all Career classes to a Live Virtual Training format. Centriq has delivered Corporate technical training classes via Live Virtual Training format for almost ten years, but this was the first time for Career classes. Centriq offered all current students the option to continue as virtual students or suspend their training until live, in-person training returned. All but three students elected to continue as virtual. Approximately one-half of Centriq’s employees elected to work from home. Many instructors – especially on the Career side of our company – chose to deliver the Live Virtual Training from their classrooms. This enabled them to continue to collaborate and share best practices for this training modality with other instructors in the building.
March 16: With no students in the building and the increasing risks of COVID-19, Centriq proactively implemented a mandatory Work From Home policy for its entire workforce. This included all instructors. Only certain “essential personnel” necessary to support the Live Virtual Training worked from the facility. (These individuals chose to come in. They were not required to do so.) Social distancing and frequent sanitizing of surfaces were – and continue to be – practiced by the few working in the office.
March 23: A new cohort of students was scheduled to start training at Centriq on this day. All were offered the option of Live Virtual Training or pushing back their start date until classroom training is available. All but one chose the Live Virtual Training option and begin immediately. Taking advantage of the last day before the Kansas City metro-wide mandatory “shelter-in-place” order became effective, Centriq arranged for the new students to come in to pick up their new program-issued laptops, meet their new classmates and attend an abbreviated orientation. The orientation was held in a large seminar room (as opposed to a standard size classroom). The room was sanitized, the desks were all greater than six feet apart with individual hand sanitizers on each and there was no handshakes or other physical contact. The session lasted for about two hours and the students returned home to start their Live Virtual Training that afternoon.
March 24: On this date, the greater Kansas City metropolitan area mandatory “shelter-in-place” order took effect. This had no effect on Centriq since it had previously voluntarily transitioned its entire operations to a “Work from Home” workforce. All classes (both Corporate and Career), all operations and all sales functions at Centriq had been almost 100% virtual since March 9.
Today: Centriq Training continue to operate virtually and will do so until the health and government officials determine it is safe to return to in person, classroom training. In the meantime, our instructor teams, our operations team and our sales teams have continually innovated and developed solutions to improve the Live Virtual Training experience for all students.
- The Instructors experimented with multiple virtual learning platforms for the delivering training, including Big Blue Button integrated with Canvas (our Learning Management System), Microsoft Teams and Adobe Connect. The Corporate instructors and the Full Stack Web Developer program instructors settled on Adobe Connect while the Systems and Security Administration instructors chose Microsoft Teams.
- Some students struggled early because of poor internet connectivity and/or availability of only one monitor. Centriq arranged to loan these students the equipment they needed out of our unused classrooms. The two Centriq owners met these students individually on a Saturday morning to deliver the equipment.
- Instructors innovated utilizing Office 365 tools to streamline delivery. One instructor utilized OneNote to create white board session ahead of time and a way for students to have continued access.
- Another instructor created video recordings of certain lectures for students to review in the evenings after live classroom hours.
- A Kansas City instructor collaborated with a St. Louis instructor to jointly “co-teach” their classes for greater student interaction when they realized they were at the same point in their tracks.
- The Systems and Security Administration instructors design a creative way for students to virtually present their final presentations at the end of their track.
- Career Services has developed virtual interview programs to support our placement efforts.
These are just a few examples of the commitment of our team. During this time, our entire company is dedicated to providing whatever support and innovation is required to ensure our students’ success.
Tomorrow: It is impossible to predict the future effects of COVID-19 on the general welfare of our people, our country, our economy, our industry or our company. But Centriq Training always been committed to the success of our students. We will continue with that commitment as the situation and our company evolve.
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