By Julia King
December 21, 2009
At the height of the recession, Providence Health & Services in Seattle
whacked its IT training budget by a hefty 65%. That meant conferences
and most tuition-based classroom training were out of the question. So
Eric Cowperthwaite, the health service provider's chief information
security officer, started looking for alternate ways to provide his
staff with ongoing education.
He approached officials at a local security company and offered to pay
them a small amount to jointly develop training modules he could then
deliver to his staff himself. What he got was a customized course on
risk management methodologies and risk analysis skills.
The payback: "I was able to demonstrate to employees that I was still
committed to their growth and development," Cowperthwaite said. "While I
may not be able to let them go to a conference in Orlando, I'm still
able to invest in my people. That was what was most critical: to show
people that we were still willing to invest in them."
Cowperthwaite said he also visits with local FBI and Secret Service
agents working in Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland and San Francisco --
cities where Providence Health has offices.
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