In order to bring you timely coverage of last night’s presidential speech, Whitepaper Wednesday will not appear on the Purchasing Certification Blog this week. It will return next Wednesday.

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In this time of dire economic crisis, I was pleasantly surprised to see US President Barack Obama stress the importance of career training in his address to Congress last night. Here is specifically what he said:

“In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity — it is a pre-requisite…We know the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow…And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma.”

These remarks indicate two things: one is that education and training is the driving force behind success, the other is that perhaps not all Americans are committed to their education as possible and economic challenges may have made them even less likely to pursue an education, requiring the proverbial kick in the pants.

Fortunately, from where I sit, I am seeing something that is directly opposite of this second point. Despite the fact that some corporations have slashed their training budgets along with every other kind of budget due to the recession, enrollment in Next Level Purchasing’s training programs continues to accelerate.

Lately, I am seeing a large number of procurement professionals invest their own funds in training when their companies refuse to do so. And I’m even seeing students who have stalled in their self-paced training get back into it with renewed vigor.

Maybe its fear that the economy will take their purchasing jobs and make it difficult to find new work. Or maybe the value of purchasing training and education is becoming more apparent. Whatever it is, many, many procurement professionals already get what President Obama was saying: career training is a necessity for success.

It’s one thing if you miss the point of continuing your education on your own. It’s another thing if you still don’t have educational ambitions after the President of the United States devotes valuable time during an important speech to urge you to seek out career training.

Fortunately, there are some pretty smart people in procurement.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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