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Jeanette Graebener: Engineering an Inventory of Minds at SAIC
Jeanette Graebener loves her job. Now, as the vice president for corporate education at SAIC and chief learning officer for SAIC University, with the responsibility of educating more than 43,000 people worldwide, her passion for her work and the strides s
Even more amazing are the successes SAIC has enjoyed under Graebener’s leadership. SAIC is the nation’s largest employee-owned research and engineering company, providing information technology, systems integration and e-solutions to commercial and government customers. Graebener put her experience developing curriculum and training materials and conducting training programs for government agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to work. Since she became chief learning officer in April 2003, the company’s learning arm SAIC University has increased learning by 46 percent over the previous year, training more than 150,000 program attendees around the world.
“I think my greatest success is that I’ve had such great support from our senior leadership and our business leaders at SAIC,” Graebener said. “I’ve been able to assimilate a top-notch training-and-development team both internally and externally.”
According to Graebener, SAIC’s training philosophy is also part of the company’s vision, centering on the idea that the maintenance of a quality workforce demands a significant and continued investment in education and training.
“SAIC University is virtual and functions as an umbrella structure to link education and performance enhancement initiatives within the company. The existence of SAIC University demonstrates visible corporate support for employee-owners with the services and programs necessary to realize goals, achieve outstanding performance and meet customer needs,” Graebener said. “The bottom line is that we have commitment from our senior leadership. They realize that in order to have true performance for our customers and meet our customers’ needs, we really have to focus on the essential technical and business competencies needed to support our mission and align those goals with the development and objectives of our employee-owners.
“When you talk about retention and recruitment, people want to work for a company where they know that they’ll be continually developed, and you can’t attract other applicants from other companies if you don’t have a strong professional development program. People demand that now,” Graebener said. “I think a couple of years ago when the dot-coms went away and training was sort of put on the backburner as it usually is in many instances, SAIC didn’t do that. In fact, they committed more and more to training and development and really saw it as being important to get through that critical period.”
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