General Electric Embraces Alternative Credentials: Global Learning Leader Paul Fama Shares How GE Is Adapting Its Recruiting and Training Practices for the 21st Century

No matter what country you live in or what year you were born, General Electric is likely a name you recognize. Incorporated in 1892, GE is one of the few brands today that has seen three separate centuries, and has a presence in over 170 countries worldwide. Best known for energy-related products and services, the company has ventured into a number of other industries, including aviation, healthcare, and transportation.

Education might not be the first industry that comes to mind when you think of GE. Yet taking into consideration the 300,000+ GE employees worldwide, the company has tallied up its share of corporate training hours.

That’s why they have their own learning center, affectionally dubbed “Crotonville,” after the Ossining, New York neighborhood in which it is located. Established in 1956 to train GE managers, the training campus boasts a history as one of the first corporate learning centers in America.

Pay a visit to Crotonville, and you’ll find Paul Fama, Global Learning Leader for GE. Paul’s responsible for the “learning supply chain” at GE, and manages campus learning leaders and operations, aligning the company’s learning strategy with “global talent pipeline needs.” In a time where each industry GE touches is constantly changing, those needs are constantly changing.

“This is a time where even 125-year-old companies can’t stand on their past and their history,” says Paul. “The transformation that GE has going on now is profound, in just about every way, shape, and form.”

Throw in the fact that workforce needs have changed significantly over the last 125 — even the last 15 — years, and it’s clear that this multinational organization would be a good candidate for scaleable, sustainable professional training models.

“The area we’re talking about in terms of learning and talent development is not only not the exception, but should be probably the place we should lead in that area.”

That’s why the company has not only honed their own learning programs around the needs of today’s workforce, but also opened up their hiring pool to those pursuing less traditional educational pathways. In our recent interview with Paul, we spoke about one partnership in particular that could pave the way for “alternative” credentials to become more mainstream.

Listen in to the podcast above, or watch the video below to learn more about about how the company is adapting its recruiting and training practices for the 21st century.

Hannah Nyren

Hannah Nyren

Hannah Nyren is the General Manager of EdTech Times. A Texan by birth but a Bostonian at heart, Hannah is an educational writer, AmeriCorps alum, and one-time StartupWeekend EDU (SWEDU) winning team member. She started her career at a Pearson-incubated edtech startup, but has since covered travel, food & culture, and even stonemasonry in addition to education.