Friday, March 28, 2003

Corporex, NKU open conference center


Corporate training facility has it all

By Ken Alltucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[photo] The Metropolitan Education and Training Services center
(Patrick Reddy photos)
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For more than three years, Northern Kentucky University's METS program has brought high-tech corporate training to employers throughout Greater Cincinnati.

Now, NKU's Metropolitan Education and Training Services has a place of its own to host such training seminars at the CirclePort business park near Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Covington-based Corporex Cos. has completed a $7 million-plus center, and crews will install another $4 million in high-tech gadgetry in the next three months that backers say will distinguish METS from any other training center in the area.

"We started out four years ago with a concept to create a unit in the university devoted to just-in-time education," NKU President James Votruba said. "It is everything we expected and more."

[photo] Rob Snyder, executive director, shows off its 150-seat "smart" auditorium.
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It's long been Votruba's vision to build a state-of-the-art corporate training center in Northern Kentucky.

The centerpiece is a 150-seat theater that includes an advanced sound and video capability. The seats are equipped with controllers so companies can conduct instant, anonymous polling.

The 43,600-square-foot center also includes 17 meeting rooms with videoconferencing capability, three computer training rooms, a boardroom and banquet facility.

For employees who miss training, METS will record the session and even provide an edited version so participants can save time and not miss important lessons.

"We can broker a training program of any type," said Rob Snyder, executive director of METS.

Training rates vary depending on the type of program a firm needs.

Individual rooms cost more than a typical hotel that rents training space, Snyder said, but the cost includes all technology, unlike many hotels that charge extra for those services.

Sherry Marshall, director of work-force solutions for the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, said the center will bring a level of corporate training that other Ohio cities enjoy.

Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati also have training centers, but Marshall said the METS center's airport location is more accessible for corporations.

"It allows companies that are bringing in people to come and stay for a day," Marshall said.

While Corporex owns the building, METS has committed to occupying the building for two decades with a $700,000-a-year lease. The university kicks in another $200,000 a year to help pay METS' full-time staff of eight.

For more information, call (859) 647-6387 or visit Web site.

E-mail kalltucker@enquirer.com



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