Executrain posted an ad looking for someone with either a degree in education and experience in graphic and digital design, or a degree in design and experience in education. I replied that I had a degree and experience in both. I initially began working there as one of the graphics teachers, focussing mostly on teaching Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Over time I started teaching all of the design application classes as well as web design, html and css coding, project management, time management and presentation skills classes. I established reoccurring contracts with companies such as Canon asking me to do onsite training for their management teams every few months.
This was initially a per diem job, and I was teaching almost every day. On the days that I was not teaching, I offered to use my design ability to help the promotional and professional appeal of the company. I began with creating a printed catalog detailing all of the current course offerings. I continued on to help create the signage and aesthetic look of the office. I designed a new dynamic website for the class schedule that would update automatically and allow online registering for classes. One piece I designed was a mouse pad that displayed a handful of quick-key shortcuts for the Microsoft office suite to be used in our labs. These were appreciated so much that they were constantly stolen! I then printed a few thousand more and created several other pieces of promotional material such as mugs, to now be given as take-aways for our students. The mouse pad remained a client favorite.
After a few years of success business began to slow down. We attributed this to the low point in the economy and the lack of available budget for employee training. I proposed a new program, where one day a week we would offer a class to both businesses and directly to consumers for free, to help potential employees build resume skills. This would also benefit employers, as they could cross train existing employees for free. And so the "Giving Back" program was born.
Every Friday I would volunteer to teach a free class to establish our name. The intention was to establish our name, so that when these students were hired be new jobs they would mention our training facilities as well as have businesses establishing relationships with us. We created a survey asking potential and current students what classes and skills they were most interested in and developed an email campaign around it.