Genfoot partners with college to launch leadership training for employees

From left: Genfoot’s Alan Demers, Dan Matarazzo, Jessica Clough, Aaron Bonta, Darren Peavey, Meghan Basnar, Dan Smith and Robin Stevens who completed White Mountain Community College’s Frontline Management Essentials course. (COURTESY PHOTO)

BERLIN — White Mountains Community College recently partnered with Genfoot, a Canadian-owned factory in Littleton that manufactures rubber and sewn boots, to offer a Frontline Management Essentials course to groom and prepare Genfoot’s shift leaders for career advancement within the company.

Eight Genfoot shift leaders completed the course in November and are now prepared to share new concepts with leaders and fellow crew members.

“Because of the necessary skills needed for Genfoot’s exclusive technology, it’s been difficult to hire outward,” said Mark Bonta, plant manager. “By partnering with WMCC to create a workforce development program, we are investing in the personal career goals of our people and the quality of our culture and are grooming our younger generation to be successful and ready for promotion.”

The Frontline Management Essentials is an 18-hour course that takes six weeks to complete. The course covers the importance of human factors that transition from frontline to management, successful steps for supervision, creating a culture of respect and the difference between management and leadership.

The leadership course is designed to help current employees become more qualified for management positions that open in the future. Upon completing the course, students receive a certificate and a congratulatory letter from the divisional vice president of manufacturing.

“Being a frontline manager requires having technical skills as well as people skills to create a thriving workplace culture,” said Tamara Roberge, coordinator of workforce development and community education at White Mountains Community College. “We were happy to partner with Genfoot and offer a Frontline Management Essentials program for employees to sharpen their skills as they work towards transitioning from frontline manager to leader.”

Genfoot developed an in-house workforce development program five years ago while the company continued searching for a more advanced, official leadership training program to fill the gaps. Genfoot will continue to build upon its partnership with WMCC and has plans to launch another leadership course in the spring of 2021.

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