UPS has announced the opening of its ninth next generation driver training facility in West Boylston, Mass. Since the first UPS Integrad site opened in Landover, Maryland, US in 2007, the company has seen dramatic improvements in safety, production and service indices, as well as a reduction in turnover.
UPS initially worked with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Virginia Tech and the Institute for the Future to study the way young people learn in an increasingly computerised culture.
Curriculum in the one-week course teaches drivers through ‘experiential learning’ that emphasises hands-on, ‘real life’ scenarios. Prior to UPS Integrad training, the majority of initial driver training was classroom- and lecture-based. Now, drivers practice delivery methods in a realistic setting on an outside course designed to mimic a small town called, Clarkville USA. Arrayed with small houses, street signs and even a dog bowl to alert drivers of the presence of a dog, Clarkville provides realism in a controlled environment.
“Integrad curriculum teaches drivers time-tested methods in a setting that mirrors reality,” said Joe Finamore, UPS Vice President of Global Leadership and Talent Development. “This style of training suits young applicants who learn better by doing. It ultimately improves customer service, safety and job satisfaction.”
A significant portion of training at UPS Integrad is focused on safe driving, and is designed to enhance the company’s already strong road safety accomplishments. UPS currently employs more than 8,700 ‘Circle of Honour’ drivers who have driven 25 years or more without an accident. “The sophisticated training at Integrad, and our focus on new learning styles will guarantee a new generation of Circle of Honor drivers,” said UPS Integrad Expansion Director Jeanne Lawrence.
The West Boylston site joins new facilities in Atlanta, McKinney, Texas and Menlo Park, California. Other US locations include suburban Chicago, Phoenix, Portland and Landover. UPS also recently announced a new location in Cologne, Germany.