Training During a Pandemic
On the many calls I have enjoyed recently with partners we work with around the world, the conversation usually gets around to our many training programs. We have expert, master, and fundamental training curriculums, and we make these available to our members and aspiring color management professionals through a faculty of gifted professionals, mostly located here in the United States. Jeff Collins, our VP of Research & Development, is conducting such a training class in partnership with one of our leading OEM partners as I write this.
Invariably I am asked if we are providing such training in person—which has been the preference historically at Idealliance—or whether we are training online. Today, due to COVID-19, we are committed to online training. We have delivered 3 open enrollment G7® Certification classes since August, all attended by 20 or more trainees. It is a very different process from how the training was conducted as recently as eight months ago.
In the past, prospective trainees would travel to a central location and meet over several days with an Idealliance trainer, like Ron Ellis or Don Hutcheson. But today, at least here in the western hemisphere, in-person training is just not possible. Nearly every state in the US has quarantine rules in place that make such travel impossible. I live in Vermont, and if you come to Vermont from a “red” (meaning a high rate of positive tests per 1000 population) state or county, you must self-quarantine for 14 days. If we held training here in my state, who in their right mind would commit so many such days to achieve G7 Expert certification? (If you’re out there I’d like to meet you!)
But what about other parts of the world? In the last couple of weeks, Idealliance, through its network of international affiliates, has been able to host live in-person trainings in Europe and Taiwan. Why only online here in the US but in-person elsewhere? While it is getting better, the US remains in the grip of COVID-19. And as such, notwithstanding the rules in place throughout the country, Idealliance is firmly committed to live online training for the time being. It is the right choice, it is healthier, and from the feedback we are getting it works very well.
What is remarkable to me is that today’s world reflects the enormous investment that has been made in the US, and other places, in the internet, connectivity and application development that supports all sorts of commerce, including training. We are fortunate here in America to have such widespread adoption of our working lives to interaction through remote networks that have the bandwidth to support this burgeoning part of the economy. Just look at Zoom’s stock price if you want a bit more evidence.
At the end of the day, at Idealliance, we will listen to our partners around the world, and closely align ourselves with the data, to make the best choices when it comes to providing you with access to our great training programs whether it be online only, all in-person, or a blended approach.
There will come a day again when our training will be available live, in-person, throughout the world. That is the nature of our business, and the understanding of color fidelity, in many ways, demands personal interaction with the byproduct. On the other hand—and I share this as an old G7 certified printer—while we always enjoyed seeing our customers press check on our manufacturing floor, we sure saved a lot of time and money when they understood that we could still calibrate our equipment, and they could check color, without being there in person.
What a world! Let’s keep making the best of it, and if you haven’t joined Idealliance yet, or you need to renew your membership, please do so today. We just rolled out a new membership structure, effective October 1, and you can register online right now!
Dick Ryan, Acting CEO, Idealliance