ith so many major companies—and whole industries—a hairsbreadth away from going belly-up, you might assume training budgets everywhere are falling under the ax. Au contraire, stress the Top 5 companies on the 2009 Training Top 125. In fact, at No. 1 PricewaterhouseCoopers (which netted that coveted spot for the second year in a row), "our overall investment in training hasn't gone down—it's actually gone up," notes Chief Learning Officer Tom Evans. Indeed, PwC launched a three-day Sustainability Leadership Program, dubbed "Forward Thinking," in December targeting 170 senior partners (including virtually every leadership position) at a development/implementation cost of approximately $2 million.
Likewise, KPMG LLP, which moved up from No. 5 to No. 2 this year, remains committed to developing its people. "Although 2009 is going to be a challenge, the economy will emerge in 12 to 24 months, and we will need the best people with the best skill sets to help us take advantage of the opportunities these changes will bring," says CEO John Veihmeyer. "Providing superior training opportunities for employees is crucial."
No. 5 Wyeth also has no intention of sacrificing its training to the challenging economy, says Vice President of Commercial Operations and Learning Development David Jenkins, adding "Continuous learning isn't going away."
No. 3 SCC Soft Computer is going full steam ahead with its goals: to prepare for the next generation of the company's laboratory information system (LIS) software; finish its competency modeling project; and align SCC training departments internationally. With an eye on filling its talent pipeline, No. 4 EMC continues to focus on development frameworks and its Proven Professional certification program.
Congratulations to these and all of the companies named to the 2009 Training Top 125! This year's applications were the most comprehensive yet, chock full of details on innovative programs, continued progress, measurable results, and best practices. Congratulations also are in order for Deloitte LLP, the newest inductee into the Training Top 10 Hall of Fame (see p. 54).
Last but not least, you may have noticed the last editorial page of the magazine sported a new name beginning with the January issue: Last Word. That's because we now have four rotating columnists, each of whom will fill that space twice during the year. Returning columnist Stephen Covey answered reader questions in the January issue, and will do the same in May. The other columnists are Peter Post, director of The Emily Post Institute and great-grandson of Emily Post; Donny Ebenstein, a partner at negotiation and conflict resolution firm Consensus; and Stephen G. Haines, founder and CEO of the Haines Centre for Strategic Management. I hope you enjoy the insight from this talented group.