Education Driving Economic Growth: Davenport Expands

With a guarantee of employment for Davenport graduates and a recent announcement of a 25 percent tuition discount for the unemployed, Davenport is stepping up to the challenges that face the Michigan economy. Part of that commitment is expanding programs that provide on ramps to substantive educational experiences and delivering a local presence—including new business-focused training delivery throughout mid-Michigan.

More than 40 seminars, workshops and short programs are aligned with academic curriculum and are delivered through the Leadership & Management Development Institute (  Based upon a 20-year track record delivering professional development and training in the western side of the state, Davenport University recently opened institute offices in both Lansing and Livonia.  The LMDI offers increased learning opportunities for business leaders who may not be able to commit to tuition reimbursement programs but want to provide employees with best practice-based professional development with the opportunity to earn college credit through a training series.

Businesses owners have been specific as to the topics and curricula that they need in order to deliver on the economic growth agenda. High demand programs locally include customer service skills, sales techniques and team conflict management customized with content tied to business-specific goals and scenarios from employee frontline experiences. By bringing programs on site to the local business unit, there is higher participation and less lost travel time—sessions can be scheduled pre- and post-shift, as well as training via online and blended programs. As employees successfully complete some training programs, they can also generate university course credit toward bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.

Preparing students for in-demand careers with a focus on business, health and technology, Davenport University brings local business owners and practitioners into the classroom. Learners want exposure to people who have local knowledge, local contacts and day-to-day experience with the Michigan environment. Every contact hour builds deeper connections and mentoring opportunities.

Experiential and social learning is by its very nature local—you want instructors and facilitators that have skin in the game and who benefit from new experiences gained in Michigan markets that they bring into every classroom session. The best instructors are not simply conveying knowledge, but also building an essential support and mentoring network that is focused and local—and connected to job opportunities.

The agility of the Leadership and Management Development Institute is also reflected in a new, technology-driven approach to delivering on-demand content. Working with the Small Business Association of Michigan, SBAM, this fall the LMDI is debuting a Business Growth Strategies Series. Using online live classroom, with just a computer and Internet connection, SBAM members will be able to connect with Davenport faculty sharing research, materials and expertise on a series of topics, each targeted to help address the most pressing business needs.

The Leadership and Management Development Institute is positioned as a partner in connecting businesses with cutting edge curriculum and resource experts. As Max Gibbard, the program director notes, “We’re prepared and motivated to deliver services and solutions that help Michigan businesses and organizations—every day we are listening and delivering the programs that help build a competitive edge for our state.”

Frank Novakowski, PhD, has more than 30 years of business experience, holding positions as company president, CEO, VP and manager across the world. He serves as associate dean in the Maine School of Business at Davenport University, academic home of the Leadership and Management Development Institute.








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