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Direct Group Receives $446,000 Grant to Expand Employee Skills

March 2009
PENNINGTON, N.J—March 2, 2009—Direct Group, a fully integrated direct marketing solutions provider, announced today that it has been awarded a $446,000 New Jersey Department of Labor grant awarded through Sewell, N.J.-based Gloucester County College (GCC).  The grant, which will be used to expand the technical and leadership skills of the company’s 900-plus employees through training courses, is the largest customized training grant ever offered by the college’s Continuing Education Division.
In conjunction with the grant, Direct Group will invest more than $950,000 in employee time for company managers to facilitate the training sessions, which have already begun and are scheduled to run through January 2010.  Classes will be held at the company’s Swedesboro, N.J., facility and GCC’s Business and Industry Training Center.  With Direct Group’s investment and the state grant combined, nearly $1.4 million is committed to helping Direct Group employees maintain their company’s leadership, both in the industry and in their community.
“While these may be lean times, they are also times of opportunity for our industry and our community, and we are planning progressively for the future,” said Ken Shirey, Direct Group Vice President of Associate Development.  “By investing in our most valuable asset, our employees, we are positioning Direct Group for the eventual economic recovery.  Ultimately, of course, this will positively impact our clients, and further enhance our ability to grow as a company.”  
Approved by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the training courses focus on customer service, time management, problem solving, computer-training skills, team building, English as a second language, Six Sigma certification, lean manufacturing, industrial equipment maintenance, business communications, electrical safety and business administration.
“Our clients will directly benefit from this program, which serves to further energize our continuous quality improvement efforts,” said Shirey.  “The new and enhanced skill sets attained by our staff will deliver higher productivity and enhanced campaign execution, all of which contribute to our clients’ bottom lines.”   
GCC President Russell A. Davis, Ed.D., added, “It is always inspiring, especially during times of economic uncertainty, when a business is committed to providing employees with the opportunity to improve job skills and is tenacious in the responsibility to invest in the community it serves.  The College’s latest and largest customized-training grant will have far-reaching effects within the Gloucester County area.”


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