The Learning and Development Center

The Center for Excellence

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Access New Professional Skills at the Learning and Development Center

A division of HR
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At a glance...

The Learning and Development Center (LDC) develops and provides programs designed to empower and enhance employee skills and competencies for improved performance and job satisfaction. Our services also extend to external businesses, organizations, and communities.

Our mission is to build a world-class, responsive and results-oriented workforce by providing the following:

  • Learning that meets critical business goals and needs
  • Lifelong learning opportunities that will prepare employees for life and work in an increasingly technological society

Facility Features

The LDC is a two-story, 54,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility featuring:

  • An auditorium capable of seating 150 with fold-down desktops
  • Instructor computers connected to HD projectors and the Internet
  • 170 available campus parking spaces
  • Break-room area with microwaves
  • Welcoming lobby area
  • Open atrium for al fresco activities

Internal & External Room Rental Request Forms

A Message from Our CELO

Feature Article: Significance Over Success, by: Noel Pinnock, BS, MPA, CPM, CA, CCC

Martin Luther King once wrote, “Human progress does not roll on the wheels of inevitability.” Let’s face it, we are all challenged to maintain our competitive edge in an ever-evolving cultural and socio-economic world that places strong demands on its human capital outlay. It is also very glaring that our villages have long since been expanded beyond the reach of our neighboring domiciles. We no longer live in silos bounded by limitations of our own rationality. In fact, in a global economy, the world becomes our community and each member of the global community affects the lives of the populous at-large.

I definitely learned a lot from my mom and dad, but I learned even more from the people in my circles as well as those who were not in the circle. Adaptation is a fundamental human trait that has a direct and indirect impact on our lives. Momma used to say, “Watch who you hang around and one who hangs around you. ” It is critical that we are cognizant of the power of influence. We inevitably have either positive or negative influences on everyone we directly or indirectly encounter. As the potter shapes the clay, our life’s encounters shape our behavior, thoughts, feelings, attitude and actions.

I can remember when I was blessed to speak to a room full of Senior Level Executives. Melody Bizego, a corporate marketing and communications executive, was just one of a few hundred participants who were recently impacted by the 2008 recession. She was kind enough to submit a comment via LinkedIn regarding her experience.

“…Noel is an enthusiastic and inspirational speaker, who has the unique ability to reach into his audiences’ heart, plant a message of hope and desire, and inspires each to elevate their goals to achieve their dreams. It was exhilarating for me as a marketing strategist recently, to witness as Noel’s dynamic charisma and targeted message impacted a room full of Senior Level Executives.”

I was humbled to receive these words, because I truly underestimated the significance my short, 15-minute speech had on the hearts and minds of such diverse people packed in the large pale conference room that was adorned with pictures of hope and prosperity amid despair and desire.

The African proverbial phrase, “it takes a village to raise a child,” is certainly applicable at levels of our life, and is not limited to young children, teens or young adolescents and is by no means exclusive to a specific gender, class, or ethnic group. It originated from the Nigerian Igbo culture and proverb “Ora na azu nwa,” which means it takes the community/village to raise a child. The Igbo’s also name their children “Nwa ora” which means child of the community.

If it takes a village to raise a child, I challenge you to answer two underlying questions:

• Who trains the village?
• Who in the village is invited to the training?

If we want to attain true significance, we must continue to teach one to reach one or as many as we can, one day at a time. No matter when you make the change to significance, whether it’s during your “halftime” or at some other time of life, know that significance is the destination and success is what gets you there! I hope that you bring more than yourself on the journey.


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Association for Talent Development (ATD) Houston: 2014 Annual Conference | Embrace the change---Learning, Innovation, and Science

Thursday, Sep. 25th, 8:30am-4:30pm

Learning & Development Center | 4501 Leeland Street Houston, TX 77023

Association for Talent Development (ATD) formerly known as ASTD


  • Learning – Applies to participant learning means and methods and covers any type of training or educational topic, including technology.
  • Innovation – Applies to new methods of instruction including classroom and hand held devices.
  • Science – Applies to developing the body and brain to engage and accept learning.

Register Now! Registration deadline is Wednesday, September 24, 2013 at 8:30AM

Breakfast, lunch, drinks and snacks are included in the registration fee.

Volunteers MUST check with the Conference Chair before registering online.

Conference + ASTD Membership Registration available - must sign up for a new membership or renew membership and register for the conference at the same time. Contact Chapter Administrator, at for more details.

ASTD Houston Event Registration and Cancellation Policy

Event registration fees should be paid online by credit/debit card at the time of registration. If you must pay by at the event by check or debit/credit card, contact Chapter Administrator, at for approval prior to registering. All cancellations are subject to a $10.00 administrative fee. No refund will be given for cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the event.

Keynote Speaker: Leading the Change You Want | Paul Sean Hill, Director of Mission Operations, Johnson Space Center

Paul Sean Hill, Director of Mission Operations, Johnson Space Center

The nature of the world is that everything changes. Change is often difficult for a variety of reasons and in many walks of life. Deliberate thought and value based decision-making can make the difference between struggling through hard choices or leading your way to preferred outcomes and innovation. Most of the mission control organization’s management practices are affected by a very deliberate leadership culture that has evolved from this work.

This talk will describe the basic values of that particular brand of mission control leadership. The intent is to convey the direct connection between those leadership values and successful change leadership.

Click here for the list of speakers, topics and bios.

ATD Sponsors

New Course Announcement!

Come leverage new tools and innovative methods at the LDC. Learn about the LDC’s unique approach to professional development and make an investment in your future...
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Improve yourself and your organization today with professional motivation skills.

You Can Make a Difference B-212 (00020600)

Tuesday, Sep. 23rd, 10:30-11:30am

Learning & Development Center | 4501 Leeland Street Houston, TX 77023

Life's challenges sometimes throw many hurdles in one's way, making it difficult to stay motivated throughout the day. When you are feeling empty, like your emotional tank is running on fumes and are in need of a pick-me-up, come to the LDC and get a shot of motivation to carry you over the finish line.

Learning Outcomes:

• Create a more dynamic, loyal and energized workforce.

• Understand what employees want and provide a starting point for getting the most out of people.

Instructor Led: Tony Cross

Price: 35.00USD

Manager Approval Required: Yes

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"You get training for work. You might train for a hobby. But do you train for what to do in an active shooter situation?" —Kent Caniglia, Goodwill Industries, Inc.

IS -907 Active Shooter: What You Can Do (00020645)

Monday, Sep. 29th, 8:30am-4:30pm

Learning & Development Center | 4501 Leeland Street Houston, TX 77023

An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and other populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly.

All employees can help prevent and prepare for potential active shooter situations. The material provides information on recommended actions for non-law enforcement employees to take should they be confronted with an active shooter situation. This course provides guidance to individuals, including managers and employees, so that they can prepare to respond to an active shooter situation.

Learning Outcomes:

• Describe actions to take when confronted with an active shooter and responding law enforcement officials.

• Recognize potential workplace violence indicators.

• Describe actions to take to prevent and prepare for potential active shooter incidents.

• Describe how to manage the consequences of an active shooter incident.

Instructor Led: Tony Cross

Price: 35.00USD

Manager Approval Required: Yes

Primary Audience: All private-sector and public sector employees, supervisors and managers.

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"Empathy Represents the Foundation Skill for all the Social Competencies Important for Work.” —Daniel Goleman

Emotional Intelligence (00020081)

Tuesday, Sep. 23rd, 8:30am-4:30pm

Learning & Development Center | 4501 Leeland Street Houston, TX 77023

Emotional intelligence describes the ability to understand one's own feelings, and that of groups, and how these emotions can influence motivation and behavior. The concept of Emotional Intelligence has been around since at least the 1900s, but is considered a new branch of psychology. As a result of the growing acknowledgement by professionals of the importance and relevance of emotions to work outcomes, the research on the topic has continued to gain momentum. The emotional intelligence skills you’ll learn during this workshop will help you gain the ability to more appropriately respond to the world around you and eliminate the stress and frustration that often comes from working with others.

Learning Outcomes:
• Define and practice self-management, self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, and empathy.
• Understand, use and manage your emotions.
• Recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior.
• Identify the benefits of emotional intelligence.
• Relate emotional intelligence to the workplace.
• Balance optimism and pessimism.

Instructor Led: Victor Taylor

Price: 35.00USD

Manager Approval Required: Yes

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"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." —John Maxwell

Leadership 101 (00020082)

Tuesday, Sep. 30th, 8:30am-4:30pm

Learning & Development Center | 4501 Leeland Street Houston, TX 77023

Leadership isn't a job title, it is an action. It is developing the perspective, skills and personal style to get results that matter. Individuals, whether seasoned or just growing into their role, often lead project teams. They serve as key role models in the organization, are influential team members and part of the future leadership pipeline. In this program, students learn both the skills of leadership as well as their personal leadership strengths. The course is designed with a self-assessment module and continues with practical ways to implement the leadership strategies discussed.

Instructor Led

Price: 35.00USD

Manager Approval Required: Yes

Check Out Our Latest Course Offerings:

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Excel 2010 - Level 1 (00020062)

Wednesday, Sep. 17th, 8:30am-4:30pm

Learning & Development Center | 4501 Leeland Street Houston, TX 77023

Do you need to use Excel for reports? Are you using Excel, but don’t really understand formulas? Then this class is for you.

Description Become comfortable using Excel by:
• Opening, modifying and saving files
• Creating a new workbook
• Entering basic formulas
• Entering common functions
• Adjusting font and number formatting
• Preparing the file for printing

This course focuses on:
• Creating and formatting workbooks
• Entering basic formulas and functions
• Working with page layout for printing

Instructor Led: Bonnie Sandberg

Price: 35.00USD

Manager Approval Required: Yes

Word 2010 - Level 2 (00020064)

Tuesday, Sep. 23rd, 8:30am-4:30pm

Learning & Development Center | 4501 Leeland Street Houston, TX 77023

Upon completion of this class, participants should be able to use section breaks in a document, work with headers and footers, and create and format tables. Participants should also be able to use Word’s mail merge feature to create letters and labels as well as work with styles and the outline view.

This class focuses on:
• Creating and using multiple sections
• Creating and formatting headers and footers
• Creating and formatting tables
• Working with multiple columns
• Using mail merge feature
• Inserting a preformatted cover page
• Working in outline view

Excel 2010 - Level 2 (00020065)

Wednesday, Sep. 24th, 8:30am-4:30pm

Learning & Development Center | 4501 Leeland Street Houston, TX 77023

Learn to be more efficient with Excel by:
• Entering more complex formulas
• Using Conditional Formatting
• Sorting and filtering data
• Creating and modifying charts
• Creating a custom number format

Description This course focuses on:
• Working with more complex formulas and functions
• Using Conditional Formatting
• Sorting and filtering data
• Creating and modifying charts

Instructor Led: Bonnie Sandberg

Price: 35.00USD

Manager Approval Required: Yes

Upcoming Industry Webinars & Events

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Tweet Chat: How are Millennials transforming the workplace? #FutureofWork

Are Millennials transforming the workplace? What's the most important technology trend emerging in your business?

A new generation of decision makers has arrived. Join IBM's Institute for Business Value (@IBMIBV) and blogger and work expert Stowe Boyd (@stoweboyd) for a TweetChat at 2 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Sept. 16. @IBMIBV will be tweeting questions about work environment, use of technology at work, and B2B marketing to Millennials.

Use the #FutureofWork hash tag to watch the discussion and share your thoughts.

Topic: How are Millennials transforming the workplace?

Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Time: 1 p.m. CST

Host: IBM Institute for Business Values

Speaker: Stowe Boyd

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Six Keys to Career Resilience

It is commonly believed that “training is always the first to go” when organizations need to cut the budget, leaving many corporate training professionals looking for work. You often hear "let the problems roll off you like water off a duck's back," but do you know that ducks aren't always waterproof? It takes a certain process for a duck to stay afloat, as well as for us to keep our career afloat. Building career resilience is crucial to your success. Using the metaphor of a duck’s waterproofing and relevant real-life case scenarios, we will explore the six steps to help you build your career resilience.

Topic: Six Keys to Career Resilience

Date: Friday, September 19, 2014

Time: noon - 1p.m. EDT

Host: Association for Talent Development

Speaker: Maureen Orey, President of Workplace Learning & Performance Group

Maureen Orey is an award-winning international speaker and best-selling author with more than 25 years of experience in management, leadership, training, and career development. She has worked in many industries, including technology, healthcare, construction, hospitality, and education. As President of Workplace Learning & Performance Group, she is dedicated to working with inspired individuals and organizations to help them improve their performance so they can achieve their desired results. Workplace Learning & Performance Group was the 2014 winner of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Award.

Maureen is the best-selling author of Communication Skills Training, published by ATD Press, as well as the author of Successful Staffing in a Diverse Workplace, published by Richard Chang Associates. She is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP), and holds an MA in Education from the University of San Diego and a BA in Psychology from San Diego State University. She was recognized as the 2008 Outstanding Instructor of the Year for San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies. In addition to her work in the private sector, she has taught at five local universities and is currently an adjunct professor at UC San Diego and Brandman University. She recently completed her first year of doctoral studies in Organizational Leadership at Brandman University.

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Brandon Hall Group and Bloomfire Present: "The Agile Organization: Improving Time to Decision through Collaboration"

Modern organizations are driven by their ability to react, change, and make decisions quickly. But attaining the agility can be difficult as organizations continue to become more diverse and dispersed. It takes more than just collaboration tools. It takes an organizational commitment to a collaborative culture, supported by the right tools and technology, to let organizations move faster, perform better, and win more often.

Join Mollie Lombardi, VP and principal analyst, workforce management of the Brandon Hall Group and Shelley Schmoker, VP Marketing at Bloomfire, as they look at the links between agility and collaboration.

The webinar will discuss:
•How your organization can harness collaboration to improve decision-making
•The key strategies to building and reinforcing a collaborative culture
•How collaboration not only supports internal processes like learning and performance, but how it impacts sales and customer service

Topic: The Agile Organization: Improving Time to Decision through Collaboration

Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Eastern

Time: noon - 1p.m. EDT

Host: Brandon Hall Group

Speaker: Mollie Lombardi, VP/Principal Analyst of Workforce Management Practice
Brandon Hall Group and Shelley Schmoker, VP Marketing at Bloomfire

Mollie Lombardi is Vice President and Principal Analyst, Workforce Management for Brandon Hall Group. She has spent the last 15 years working with HR leaders across the globe, surveying and interviewing tens of thousands of end-users to understand the key workforce challenges facing today’s organizations. Her research focuses on understanding the combination of strategies, processes, and tools and technologies that enable organizations to achieve measurable business success. Mollie’s research and consulting work has helped organizations in a wide variety of industries unleash the potential of their talent, unlock the insights from their workforce data, and think through the change management challenges required by shifting demographics, changing marketplace needs, and technological innovation in the human capital space.

Shelley Schmoker is VP of Marketing Bloomfire. Shelley is responsible for building Bloomfire's brand, driving market awareness and generating demand for the company’s award-winning enterprise collaboration platform. She has over two decades of experience leading go-to-market strategy and corporate marketing programs in enterprise technology.

TIMELINE | The Learning and Development Center Story

Our Brand Strategy Roadmap

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Paul Arden's "It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be"

"If you give away everything you have, you are left with nothing. This forces you to look, to be aware, to replenish.” – Paul Arden

It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be is a handbook of how to succeed in the world - a pocket 'bible' for the talented and timid to make the unthinkable thinkable and the impossible possible. The world's top advertising guru, Paul Arden, offers up his wisdom on issues as diverse as problem solving, responding to a brief, communicating, playing your cards right, making mistakes and creativity, all notions that can be applied to aspects of modern life. This book provides a unique insight into the world of advertising and is a quirky compilation of quotes, facts, pictures, wit and wisdom, packed into easy-to-digest, bite-sized spreads. If you want to succeed in life or business, this is a must!

Paul Arden began his career in advertising at the age of 16. For 14 years he was Executive Creative Director at Saatchi and Saatchi, where he was responsible for some of Britain's best known campaigns including British Airways, Silk Cut, Anchor Butter, InterCity and Fuji. His famous slogans include 'The Car in front is a Toyota' and 'The Independent - It is - Are You?'. In 1993 he set up the London-based production company Arden Sutherland-Dodd where he is now a commercials director for clients such as BT, BMW, Ford, Nestle and Levis.

LDC Tip: Identifying Underlying Causes of the Skills Gap

What Is a Skills Gap and Why Does It Exist?

According to the Association for Talent Development (ATD) a skills gap is defined as a discontinuity between an organizations current capabilities and the skills it needs to achieve its goals. It is the point at which an organization can no longer execute its strategies, fulfill its mission, grow, or change because it cannot fill critical jobs with employees who have the right knowledge, skills, and abilities.

  • Employee retention
  • Employee attrition
  • Strategic decision making
  • A Lack of 21st Century Skills
  • Education attainment
  • Recruitment practices misaligned
  • Career management

According to the Association for Talent Development (ATD) Human Capital Management (HCM) defines people as assets and seeks to optimize the productivity of those assets through proactive approaches to attracting, developing, retaining and leveraging the knowledge of the workforce.

Approaches to Addressing the Skills Gap and Investing in HCM:

  • Identify critical jobs
  • Define the competencies
  • Engage managers
  • Employ workforce planning techniques
  • Integrate processes
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Fact Check:

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!

The Learning Management System records are updated and backed up nightly. It is the LDC policy that all delivered offerings are to be updated in the LMS within 48 hours of completion of the class and available to the learner.

The LDC has been asked to follow Executive Order 1-37. All employees who work, train or visit must display assigned City of Houston identification badges. Employees should dress work-appropriate at all times when attending classes at the LDC.

** This message is being directed to ALL City of Houston employees. This e-mail was approved for citywide distribution by the COH HR Department. If the reader of this e-mail is not an intended recipient, it has been delivered in error. Any review, dissemination, distribution or copying is strictly prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately by return e-mail and permanently delete the copy you received. **