During this morning’s Boardroom Breakfast, held in the Red Cross Building on the Fort Vancouver site, event goers were able to hear from Jim Voorhees, CEO of Instructional Technologies, Inc., a company that is known for its effective online training for truck drivers that uses a mastery learning strategy. This strategy is an instructional method by which the employee must “master” each subject before moving to the next.
John McDonagh, co-publisher of the Vancouver Business Journal and president of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, spoke with Voorhees in front of an audience of community members and business leaders about his career with the U.S. Military, the 12 years he worked with NASA as an engineering research psychologist and how he came to start Instructional Technologies, Inc. back in 1995.
Here are 10 things those who attended the breakfast learned about Voorhees and Instructional Technologies, Inc.:
1. Voorhees registered for the draft at the age of 22 after discovering that most of the schooling he was trying to put himself through did not have the structure he needed. He went to flight school and became a helicopter pilot, doing several tours in Vietnam.
2. Later, Voorhees returned to active duty and was assigned to work on a special project with NASA. As an engineering research psychologist, he helped design the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey.
3. Before his high school years and during them, Voorhees worked at a plumbing store selling piping and other equipment.
4. When Voorhees later decided to start his own simulation training company, he took something that he learned in the Military to heart: “The most important thing in your life is your people. They depend on you to do the right thing at the right time.”
5. When Instructional Technologies, Inc. was first founded, the company had four employees. The company now has 27 employees.
6. Many of the employees who work for Instructional Technologies, Inc. were students who completed the Digital Media program at WSU Vancouver.
7. Since starting the company in 1995, only three people have left the company. Voorhees said this is because they hire the right kind of people who thrive in the environment they work in.
8. Instructional Technologies, Inc. is used by numerous leading trucking fleets, including Ryder, Celadon, Landstar, CVS Pharmacy, CHS and the largest private fleets.
9. Instructional Technologies’ biggest client, in terms of size, is Walmart. The company trains Walmart’s 9,600 Class A drivers.
10. Voorhees said that Instructional Technologies, Inc. is the only training company in transportation that he knows of that trains drivers from Class A all the way through.