Located in Marysville, Ohio, the West Central Community Correctional Facility (WCCCF) is one of 18 community based correctional organizations in the state. The 150 bed, ACA accredited, minimum security facility first opened its doors in October of 1999. The WCCCF provides various services throughout their clinical, education, family, and employment departments for residents during their 6 month stay.

 

Challenges

For years, the West Central Community Correctional Facility conducted their staff education through live, week long training academies. This format was not only costly, but incredibly time consuming for a facility that values every second of resident activity and involvement. “Operating a 24 hour, 7 day a week facility, that (scheduling training) oftentimes became a nightmare,” said David Ervin, Executive Director, who has been with West Central since its initial development. “We had to, during training weeks; rearrange work schedules, pay overtime—pretty much shut down our usual programming for the residents until we completed that training.”

David admits the importance to having live training for certain licensures requiring face to face interaction, but also identifies the need for a more time-efficient learning solution for courses that can be done individually at each learner’s own pace. Unfortunately, a fully live training program was just the way things had always been done.

“It was a struggle. There was no question about it. We had done it for so many years, it was one of those things we just had to bite the bullet and get it done.”

 

Solution

The West Central Community Correctional Facility began using the Corrections Online Training Collaborative (COTC), powered by Relias Learning, in August of 2012. Over the past 10 months of using the system, David says the WCCCF has been able to benefit from a more flexible training schedule that gives staff access to all of their ACA training opportunities.

“Staff can get online day or night 7 days a week to complete their training obligations,” which has relieved employees’ time spent away from the job. And it’s not just time the West Central Community Correctional Facility is saving—there’s a cost savings as well: “We have been able to reduce to practically no overtime hours related to training.”

“Staff can get online day or night 7 days a week to complete their training obligations.”

David also highlights the importance in knowing every staff member is receiving the same standardized course content delivered by a subject matter expert. “The credentials of the trainer are made known and clear, so if there’s any question in the future whether a person’s qualified to do the training, we can show the documentation that someone was qualified to do the particular training. I think that is very important.”

One of key functionalities of the Relias learning management system (LMS) benefiting West Central is the ability to automate their record keeping. Before, all staff training records were manually tracked. Now, information is stored in the system and monitors each individual learner’s training progress.

Moving Forward, David says the West Central Community Correctional Facility plans to continue using the COTC in concert with necessary live trainings to create a blended learning environment. There are even plans to begin uploading their own courses and presentations.

“I wholeheartedly endorse it. I think it really has been beneficial to the organization.”