SOU Launches New Professional Development Series

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(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has launched a new series of professional development workshops for executives, managers, and owners of local and regional businesses. The monthly series was developed to address skills gaps identified by employers after SOU surveyed regional businesses to determine which topics were most needed for their employees.

“Soft skills continue to top the charts,” said Jeanne Stallman, SOU’s executive director for outreach and engagement. “Communicating effectively, building a team, learning how to persuade and influence others – it takes so much more than sending an email.” Workshops on presentation skills, team building, and using power effectively address these topics.

But the soft skills of management weren’t all that was identified. “Using data effectively has emerged as a fast-growing need,” Stallman said. The March 16 workshop focuses on using data to drive strategy.

Presenter Stephen Lindsay is passionate about using data well. Over a decade spent with American Express he developed an expertise in analyzing small international markets, which led to consulting work with small businesses and startups in rural communities. “Whether you are a big business or small, there’s data all around you,” Lindsay said. “We are drenched in it! And there’s some simple, small things you can do with data easily available to you, which will make a big difference for your business.”

The workshops are scheduled for Wednesday mornings, a time employers indicated would work best. The first workshop, Presentation Skills for Professionals, begins January 27, with monthly sessions on different topics running through May. For more information, a full schedule of workshops, or to register, visit sou.edu/community or call 541-552-8150.

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About Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon University is a medium-sized campus that provides comprehensive educational opportunities with a strong focus on student success and intellectual creativity. Located in vibrant Ashland, Oregon, SOU remains committed to diversity and inclusion for all students on its environmentally sustainable campus. Connected learning programs taught by a host of exceptional faculty provide quality, innovative experiences for students. Visit sou.edu.