New Training Center Evidences Drake’s Commitment to Professional Education
By Christine Reynolds
This year, continuing professional education has a new home in Franklin, NC.
In April, we opened the Drake Education Center (www.drakeeducationcenter.com) as a major new learning center for professionals in tax preparation and accounting. The center serves to meet several objectives – training customers, training employees, and providing a versatile meeting facility for other businesses and groups in our local community.
To break it in, we hosted numerous Continuing Professional Education (CPE) classes this summer to train customers and prospects on our Payroll, Client-Write Up and Professional Tax programs. Many came to combine business and leisure – our new facility is located on our main corporate campus in Franklin, NC, which is situated at the foothills of the breathtaking Southern Appalachian Mountains – a great destination for a summer vacation. We also plan to host three of our annual Update Schools at the Education Center this fall.
Although the primary purpose of the center is to host customer training classes, it is also used regularly for employee training and corporate meetings. New employees are continually added throughout the Drake organization to keep up with our rapidly growing customer base, thus creating the need to train larger groups. While we utilize technology to provide web-based training for our staff on some occasions, we still find the face-to-face interaction to be extremely important for synergy among the staff, and the Education Center allows us to foster this interaction on a larger scale.
When we are not using the facility, we offer it out to local businesses and community groups. The local Toastmasters group uses it weekly for its meetings, and we've recently hosted events for Mission Hospitals and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. For a very reasonable rental fee, local organizations now have access to a state-of-the-art facility for meetings, training and other functions right here in Franklin.
My entire staff works in the “office wing” of the center, making it convenient for us to accomplish our day-to-day work and utilize the training room. If we aren't in the training room or on the road, we are busy preparing courses, updating documentation, hosting webinars, planning for our annual Update Schools and performing various other tasks to support our customers. We’re excited about our new home, and Drake’s commitment to training and education.
About the Center
Our state-of-the-art facility features the following:
- Capacity: 9,000 square feet with classroom-style stadium seating for up to 100
- Projection System: Provides optimal visual environment for multimedia presentations
- Event Hosting: Lobby area for meet-and-greet, registration, and food and beverage stations
- Confidence Monitoring: Provides the presenter a view of the screen.
- Live Streaming: Live video feed for hosting webcasts over enterprise-level internet bandwidth.
- Internet access: Each station is wired for power and Internet; WiFi also available.