Perfect Storm at 1st Advantage Federal Credit Union Leads to Corporate University

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It was the perfect storm last year when Lisa Church, chief experience officer at 1st Advantage Federal Credit Union, attended Corporate Learning Week.

The credit union's long-term CEO and CFO both retired in 2011, and the new executives were committed to building a learning and leadership culture. Additionally, Church had also just completed the selection of a new learning management system and she'd just learned that the marketing team planned a complete overhaul of the credit union's intranet.

"When I found out we had plans to literally start from ground zero and build a new intranet, I knew we had all the pieces we needed to build a corporate university," Church says. "Then, when I got to the heart of the conference and saw what other people were doing with corporate universities, I realized it was something we really needed to do at 1st Advantage."

In the intervening year, Church has spearheaded the rollout of 1A University at 1st Advantage. She started with gaining executive buy-in, branding and developing university curriculum.

"We have lots of ‘member facing’ staff at 1st Advantage, so scheduling in-person training can be difficult," Church says. "The idea of shifting a good portion of learning and training to an online format where people have the ability to access learning on their own time was our biggest selling point for executives."

In the next year, 1A University will roll out position-based curriculum, skills-based curriculum, and learning and training programs to fulfill a variety of development and compliance needs at the company. Following the perfect storm for L&D program development, the ship is sailing full speed ahead at 1A University.