“HR plays an important role in training requirements at the state level. You should attend both the WA-State Purchasing and Procurement 101 and Contract Management 101 training workshops.”
When Patty Sikora, Director of Purchasing, first recommended I participate, I wasn’t quite sure what I was being signed up for. Thankfully, she walked me through important state training mandates and the impact they have on a local level. Specifically for my position as Training Manager, I needed to understand what folks were expected to complete, the process for completion, and the learning management system (LMS) supporting these courses.
If you’ve never heard of these required training courses, then you’re probably not interacting with purchasing, procurement, or contract management on a daily basis. The short version is that designated folks across campus do deal with this type of work routinely and must adhere to strict requirements. Still doesn’t make sense? That’s okay. Just be thankful that there are folks across campus who have to worry about all the legalities of purchasing your favorite pens, post-it notes, reams of paper…and that brand new building that is being constructed.
Personally, although I have been issued a p-card for another institution, I never fathomed all of the legal requirements that occurred behind the scenes. I didn’t realize that the difference of one dollar (from something costing $9,999 versus $10,000) could have such drastic impacts on the process. I didn’t comprehend the collaboration required for complicated purchases such as site-wide licenses or IT contracts or the seemingly simple purchases such as an iPad app.
The training Patty suggested I sign up for was actually the first higher education face-to-face training offered. If I wasn’t able to attend this two-day training, another option would have been online webinars and assessments. Because this was specifically dedicated to higher education and because so many Green River employees participated, I thought this would be my best bet. Besides, attending training with people you know is always funner, right?
In the end I survived two days of non-stop purchasing, procurement, and contract management modules. Because I got to attend with fellow employees, received lunch and snacks in the process, and got hip to the training required at the state level, I can’t really complain. I have a HUGE newfound respect for anyone who orders post-it notes now. Seriously. Give those folks a hug. Right now.
Finally, I’d like say “gracias” to all the folks who helped make this happen and all the supervisors who allowed their support staff to be a part of this unique opportunity. Special thanks to Patty Sikora, Crystal Bolt, and Carla Kane for pointing me in the right direction, presenting me with my name tag, and answering specific questions I had relating to Green River purchasing. Thanks to Linda Flanigan and our IT support staff for ensuring I had an Internet connection the entire time. Thanks Pam Dally, Michael Berry, and all the Kent Station folks who hosted the event.