Technology with a Purpose

Archive for February, 2017

TargetSolutions’ New IT & Security Training Helps IT Personnel Mitigate Cyber Threats, Prepare for Certifications

TargetSolutions’ new IT & Security training catalog from LearnSmart features more than 650 courses built to provide IT professionals with the skills prescribed by certification authorities, including Microsoft, Cisco, CompTIA and others. This premium content is available to customers at an additional cost. Contact us for pricing at (800) 840-8048.

TargetSolutions’ new IT & Security training from LearnSmart builds the practical skills IT professionals need to perform in their field and mitigate cyber threats. More than 650 premium courses will soon be available on TargetSolutions at an additional cost. These courses are built to help IT personnel familiarize themselves with different technologies and prepare for their next certification exam.

cb-it-security-course-catalog-download-ctaThe British insurance company, Lloyd’s, estimates in Forbes magazine that cyber-attacks cost organizations $400 billion annually. These new courses, made available to TargetSolutions by LearnSmart, a leader in IT certification training, help prepare IT personnel to protect an organization’s data integrity and reputation by staying ahead of attacks.

With threats lurking everywhere in today’s online world, TargetSolutions is excited to offer these HD-quality, video-based courses, which are authored by subject matter experts.

This training provides IT professionals with the knowledge they need for certifications, including the following:

  • Microsoft MCSE
  • Cisco CCNA / CCNP
  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Security+
  • CompTIA Network+
  • EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEHv9)

TargetSolutions’ parent company, Vector Solutions, acquired LearnSmart in December of 2016. With the acquisition came more than 1,000 mobile-compatible courses. Today, more than 20 hours of instructor-led training videos are produced weekly by industry experts at LearnSmart and TargetSolutions.

“IT Security is a top priority for TargetSolutions. Additions to security courses are made as the digital environment changes.”

Ammon Wiese, Director of Content, LearnSmart & TargetSolutions

Throughout each course, users are engaged with quizzes to check comprehension and increase retention of material. Instructors also perform live demonstrations for users to feel more immersed in subject matter.

“The videos are a fresh break from reading all the time. … I like that I can use the training on the iPad2 so I can study on business trips,” said Tony Otis, who is an IT Engineer Integrator.

For pricing on this premium training for IT professionals, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048. If you are interested in a one-on-one demonstration, please register today.

Special Reimbursement Program Covers Up to 100 Percent of TargetSolutions’ Costs in Minnesota

Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education Makes Funding Available Now Through June 30

SAN DIEGO — TargetSolutions, the industry’s leading online firefighter training management system, has never been more affordable for departments in the state of Minnesota. And by affordable, we mean up to 100 percent off user fees.

tslogo_symbol-color-smallFor a limited time, fire departments in the state of Minnesota can sign up for TargetSolutions and potentially incur no costs for the first 12 months. This is the result of the Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education’s (MBFTE) reimbursement program, which is available now through June 30, 2017.

The MBFTE’s mission is to promote “excellence in the fire service by funding standardized training” and this year’s top strategic initiative is to move toward having 100 percent of the state’s firefighters trained on NFPA 1001. With that goal in mind, the MBFTE will maintain its training reimbursement funding level of $200 per firefighter in the state, which can be used on TargetSolutions’ computer-based system.

To take advantage of this opportunity, agencies in Minnesota need to contact TargetSolutions or the MBFTE to start the reimbursement process, said Executive Director Steve Flaherty.

“We’ve changed the process from a grant to a reimbursement,” Flaherty said. “We’ve streamlined it to make it easier for the departments. The training needs to be affiliated with the national standard, NFPA 1001 and done by a qualified instructor. This goes for EMS training as well.”

That’s where TargetSolutions comes in. The industry’s most innovative technology for managing training compliance offers more than 450 hours of fire department training, including more than 250 hours of Fire and EMS recertification.

The course catalog for firefighters covers NFPA 1001, NFPA 1021 and NFPA 1500. In addition, TargetSolutions is organizationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE) and features robust recordkeeping applications for tracking and reporting EMS recertification and ISO training hours. Departments can also track their 11 core elements with TargetSolutions. The 11 core elements are recommendations from OSHA standards, which provide Minnesota’s agencies with multiple options for designing an annual training program that meets requirements.

“TargetSolutions’ online training platform fits well with today’s firefighters and their schedules,” Flaherty said. “We’re seeing a move from traditional standup classes to online training in addition to hands-on training. Our goal is to get training to firefighters and TargetSolutions offers a way to get that training in the hands of learners.

“This funding provides us the ability to reimburse fire departments and municipalities and offset these costs. TargetSolutions qualifies for this reimbursement and is a great way for firefighters to get the training they need. There is a shift in learning and in how students get information. It’s no longer every Tuesday night in the station.”

If you would like more information on this program, please visit the MBFTE’s website at www.mbfte.org or call TargetSolutions at (800) 840-8046.

About TargetSolutions
TargetSolutions delivers cutting-edge software applications, engaging online training courses, and world-class customer service. The company was founded in 1999 and today there are more than 4,000 organizations across the country using TargetSolutions to manage training. TargetSolutions is headquartered in San Diego, Calif. For more information, find us online at www.targetsolutions.com.

Updates to TargetSolutions’ Water System and Water Treatment Courses

Two updated courses in TargetSolutions’ water industry catalog explore water system safety for water and wastewater professionals.

Two courses in TargetSolutions’ online course catalog for water and wastewater, Water Industry Coagulation, Flocculation and Sedimentation and Backflow Prevention Overview, were recently updated with new content and engaging multimedia.

These courses help water professionals follow procedures more effectively and ensure water system safety.

The Coagulation, Flocculation and Sedimentation course reviews common chemicals and techniques used during the water treatment process. In addition to explaining coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, and filtration, content also covers the Jar Test, Tertiary Treatment, and Short Circuits.

The Backflow Prevention Overview course helps create and implement a backflow prevention program by illustrating different causes of backflow in water systems and how to mitigate risks of contamination.

If you have any questions about these courses or others inside TargetSolutions’ online training catalog for water and wastewater, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

Training Is Now Painless for Canaveral’s Volunteer Fire Department

cb-canaveral-logo-updatedThe Cape Canaveral Volunteer Fire Department (CCVFD) in Florida has been serving the City of Canaveral and the Canaveral Port Authority since 1962. In the early years, the combination department only responded to fire and motor vehicle crashes, but today it answers more than 2,500 calls a year with 80 percent being EMS related.

With volunteer firefighters, budget and time constraints pose the biggest challenges to training. Since 2009, TargetSolutions has modernized the way the CCVFD trains its volunteers with user-friendly accredited training for a more convenient and cost-effective solution.

“TargetSolutions makes training painless,” said Tracy Braley, who serves as Cape Canaveral’s assistant chief. “It enables me to provide more training for our firefighters with less staff and less money without sacrificing quality.”

TargetSolutions’ training system allows the CCVFD’s 15 volunteers to finish EMS recertification and firefighter courses on their own time.

“It gets difficult to work around our volunteer’s limited schedules so training and renewing certifications are easier now that they can be completed whenever and wherever,” Braley said. “Classes used to be rigid and retention was definitely an issue. A lot of training objectives weren’t being met the way we would’ve liked and getting enough training hours was a struggle. But TargetSolutions made required topics like Hazard Communication and Sexual Harassment simple and consistent.”

In addition to making training easier to assign, adopting TargetSolutions has made meeting ISO requirements straightforward.

“I can check our records at any time and make sure we are on track in terms of ISO,” said Braley. “As firefighters, we wait until the last minute. So, I’m able to set deadlines for training and see who is missing courses. This way I know everything is good to go by the time we’re due for a review.”

The effectiveness of TargetSolutions makes it the only training program trusted by the CCVFD. Volunteers appreciate the convenience of flexible training hours and the community benefits from prepared firefighters that ensure safety.

“Cape Canaveral has been with us for several years now for both their career and volunteer users. Being able to deliver training for things like policy changes can be challenging, but the ability to log into TargetSolutions from anywhere has revolutionized training efficiency.”

Julie Blosch, Account Manager at TargetSolutions

A Look Ahead: What Is Microlearning?

Microlearning enhances comprehension of lengthy training courses with one- to three-minute objectives that can be reviewed as needed.

The Network of Corporate Academies (NOCA) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) report 40 percent of employees who receive poor training leave the job within a year. Considering how expensive employee turnover is to any organization, offering sufficient training is a must. To help address this issue, microlearning courses are gaining momentum and changing the way employees are trained.

What Is Microlearning?

Microlearning enhances comprehension of lengthy training courses with one- to three-minute objectives that can be reviewed as needed. Each objective is a key point from a course, which employees can use for a refresher on their training. This puts learners in control of the information they review to better complete tasks.

“Microlearning is support for the skill set developed through a course,” said TargetSolutions Director of Content Ammon Wiese. “They help a training become muscle memory by increasing one’s ability to pull learned concepts from the mind.”tslogo_symbol-color-small

Before heading out on a call, firefighters can go over procedures or refresh their memories on specific equipment for the environment they’re going into. Potentially, a firefighter is attaching a hose on a type of fire hydrant they haven’t used before but remembers it from a training course. With the use of microlearning, rather than sorting through a bunch of slides inside an hour-long course, the firefighter can look up the proper procedure in a brief video or diagram.

What Are the Benefits of Microlearning?

The benefits of microlearning are how it helps learners consume information. Recalling an individual skill while out in the field often means the difference between a job incident and performing effectively. In this case, time is of the essence. Available through an app, learners have the microlearning performance support they need at their fingertips. This delivery of information means lessons are easier to access at a moment’s notice.

Microlearning’s accessible and bite-sized lessons lead to higher retention, fewer mistakes on the job, and lower long-term costs of training. Rather than relying solely on memory, professionals can refer to their training and will be more likely to recall information.

The microlearning courses are useful across a variety of industries that benefit from having information on demand. Micro courses for trades such as Fire, OSHA, water, and education can serve as performance support for new employees or a review for those looking to brush up on procedures.

When working with complex information or tools, retention of instructions can be difficult, no matter how extensive the training. Microlearning courses are not intended to replace accredited courses, they are performance support to reduce incidents on the job and ensure standards are being communicated.

TargetSolutions and Microlearning: What Is the Future?

TargetSolutions envisions a future in which learners can complete coursework and then when performing a task in the field, type in a keyword to their mobile device and pull up the critical information they recall from the training course. These are exciting times and we are looking forward to future enhancements.

Meet the Team: Get to Know Account Manager Ken Ainsworth

TargetSolutions' Account Manager Ken AinsworthAlthough he’s lived elsewhere, Kennith Ainsworth started his family in San Diego: the city he was born and raised in. Ken joined TargetSolutions in January 2017 as an account manager and is already a thriving member of the company’s philanthropy culture team.

Ken’s adaptability and friendly attitude have helped him as he has worked for a variety of companies ranging from startups to corporations. You’re in good hands with Ken because of his experience. In fact, he previously worked as a National Account Manager at AT&T.

“What I absolutely love about working at TargetSolutions is that I can stand behind our product knowing that our team provides a safer and more educated workforce,” Ken said. “Helping heroes is something to be proud of.”

Ken also loves art and traveling. He hopes to continue exploring new places and indulging in his many hobbies such as film-making.

Find out more about Ken with this Q-and-A:

Favorite Movie?

Top Gun. It made me want to be a pilot.

Favorite Band?

That’s hard to narrow down because I really love music. I’ve been listening to 90s bands lately like Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

If you could go anywhere, where would you visit?

Bali! I almost went there for my honeymoon but we ended up going to Hawaii instead.

Favorite flavor of ice cream?

Cookies & Cream.

Favorite Sports Team?

Chargers…I’ve been a diehard fan and season pass holder for years. Not a fan of recent events, but I still love them.

Best book you’ve read?

I love Stephen King but I recently read Feel the Fear and Do It Anyways by Susan Jeffers and loved it.

Any hobbies?

Sportfishing! Every summer I’m out at sea on my friend’s fishing boat.

What is your favorite type of weather?

Sunny San Diego weather.

Favorite animal?

Tigers

Any pets?

Yes, my Austrailian Shepard, Kobe, and a betta fish.

Fun fact about yourself:

I was part of a social media startup in the early 2000s. It was around the time of early MySpace and was called “FriendMits.”

Packed House on Hand for TargetSolutions’ Annual Networking & Training Workshop at Firehouse World

cb-2017-tsc-fh-user-group-markTargetSolutions Presents Prestigious Awards to LAFD’s Capt. Benjamin Banks, Southern Marin’s Bn. Chief Matt Barnes and St. Charles Fire Department’s Capt. Jamie Young

SAN DIEGO – TargetSolutions, the leader in online training management applications for fire departments, hosted its annual Networking & Training Workshop on Tuesday during Firehouse World in San Diego.

More than 70 attendees from fire departments across the country packed the Marriott Gaslamp Quarter’s Altitude Sky Lounge to meet with TargetSolutions account managers and mingle with other training officers. The highlight of the afternoon was the awards presentation, which honors platform managers who share the same commitment as TargetSolutions to deliver exceptional fire department training.

The Technology Achievement Award

capt-ben-banks

Los Angeles Fire Department’s Capt. Benjamin Banks was the recipient of this year’s Technology Achievement Award, which goes to a platform administrator focused on innovation in fire department training.

Capt. Benjamin Banks of the Los Angeles Fire Department was presented with the Technology Achievement Award for consistently looking to maximize TargetSolutions’ web-based system. Banks’ forward-thinking mindset has helped his metro agency’s training program flourish.

“Our department, in general, is trying to use technology more and more, all the time for everything,” said Banks, who has been managing the department’s training platform for the last year. “That’s really been a directive of our mayor and our fire chief, so this falls right in line with that.”

The ability to measure training hours – as well as other key performance indicators related to training – is critical to LAFD, which has increased its utilization of the TargetSolutions platform since Banks took on his current role.

“Being able to provide metrics, that’s what it’s all about,” Banks said. “I hear that across the fire service. Metrics, it’s the numbers, it’s the totals, really being able to show the work that we’re doing, the training that people in the fire stations and otherwise are doing, it’s all about being able to put those numbers on. Unless you have technology that can support that, it’s going to be very difficult. And then having technology that can make that job even easier, I mean that’s what the goal is. TargetSolutions has definitely helped us in that regard.”

The Vanguard Award

Bn. Chief Matt Barnes of Southern Marin Fire Department (Calif.). was given the Vanguard Award, which goes each year to someone who exemplifies dedication in the delivery of fire department training. Barnes has consistently worked to maximize TargetSolutions and help his agency streamline training and compliance.

“The fire service changes and evolves on a daily basis and the only way to stay current is to research and go out and perform skills based off the information that you’ve gathered and learned from the past,” said Barnes, who has been with the agency for the last 15 years. “We’ve had some significant near misses in our organization. We’ve had two line-of-duty deaths in our organizations due to health, so training is very near and dear to me. I think it’s the fabric of what makes someone become a good, proficient performing individual in the fire service.”

The Helping Hand Award

The final award went to Capt. Jamie Young of the St. Charles Fire Department in Missouri. The Helping Hand is delivered each year to someone who goes above and beyond to assist TargetSolutions or their neighboring agencies who are using the platform. Young’s department hosted a team of TargetSolutions videographers in 2016 for a special training shoot and the footage is being used in TargetSolutions’ upcoming NFPA 1410 training series, which is scheduled for release in March.

Young was not in attendance, but he recorded a video message that was played during the event.

“On behalf of myself and the St. Charles Fire Department I want to say thank you to TargetSolutions for such a wonderful recognition,” Young said. “It’s been a pleasure working with this company to bring such cutting-edge technology to the forefront of the fire service. It’s this cutting-edge technology that is keeping us safer and smarter on the fire ground. TargetSolutions has helped us and countless others across the country and I’m personally looking forward to many future projects.”

About TargetSolutions

TargetSolutions delivers cutting-edge software applications, engaging online training courses, and world-class customer service. The company was founded in 1999 and today there are more than 4,000 organizations across the country using TargetSolutions to manage training. TargetSolutions is headquartered in San Diego, Calif. For more information, find us online at www.targetsolutions.com or call us at 1 (800) 840-8048.

Enhancements to TargetSolutions’ Infrastructure Will Require Action for Some Customers

tslogo_symbol-color-smallTargetSolutions is taking steps to modernize its platform and strengthen its overall infrastructure. As part of these enhancements, it is necessary to change Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. If your organization has whitelisted sites associated with TargetSolutions by IP, you will need to alert your IT department about these important changes.

You will need to act to ensure that TargetSolutions’ fully qualified domain names (FQDN) are the only identifiers used for whitelisting so members of your organization can continue to access TargetSolutions from the workplace. Please click here for TargetSolutions’ new whitelisting information.

Why Is TargetSolutions Making Updates?

The overhaul to TargetSolutions’ back-end infrastructure is part of a multi-faceted strategy to ensure the most scalable and secure platform possible. TargetSolutions is taking steps to safeguard its online training management system with the latest technology so it can accommodate future demands.

The result of these upgrades will allow us to handle increasing volumes while still maintaining acceptable response time. These enhancements will also improve the platform’s overall reliability and enhance its disaster recovery capabilities.

How Will My Organization Be Impacted?

These updates will have little to no impact on the large majority of customers. If your organization has restricted Internet access for employees and has whitelisted TargetSolutions by its IP addresses, you will need to contact your IT department so it can make the required updates. Please click here for TargetSolutions’ new whitelisting information.

When Will the Updates Take Place?

TargetSolutions will be implementing these enhancements soon. We will have more information in the coming weeks on the exact time of the release. TargetSolutions recommends you act now if you are whitelisting TargetSolutions by IP. Please click here for the full list of FQDNs to ensure employees have access to TargetSolutions from the workplace.

What if I Have Questions?

Please click here to access information your IT department will need if you have whitelisted TargetSolutions by IP. If you have any questions, please contact TargetSolutions customer support at (800) 840-8048.

TargetSolutions Updates Three Driver Safety Training Courses for School Districts

TargetSolutions has made style and content updates to three driver safety courses in its online training catalog for school districts.

It’s a staggering number, but a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows roughly 42 percent of workplace fatalities happened on the roadways in 2015. It’s no secret driving accidents are the leading cause of deaths, but more could be done to curb the trend.

TargetSolutions’ online training catalog for school districts features a collection of courses built to provide school bus drivers with a plethora of safety tips. Three courses have recently received updates to deliver the most current, dynamic training experiences possible on this important topic.

Here are the courses that have undergone enhancements, including format restyling, new material and upgraded interactions:

Driver Safety Orientation: A general overview of the dangers associated with driving on the job. This course dives into the importance of establishing a driver safety program.

Large Vehicle Characteristics: An exploration of various large vehicles used in the school setting. The course explores critical safety requirements.

Passenger Van Safety: An engaging overview outlining the safety risks and characteristics of 15 different passenger vans driven by school district personnel.

If you have any questions about TargetSolutions’ online training catalog for school districts, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.