CNM Offers Frontline IT Workers Micro-credential Training to Help Support COVID-19 Fight

The online training equips employees to lead and help healthcare industry clients problem-solve
March 25, 2020

CNM is finding creative ways to help in the fight against COVID-19 and one of the newest is a partnership between CNM Ingenuity and UnityBPO, a local Albuquerque IT company that provides essential support to hospitals, long-term care facilities, and patients across the country. 

Over the coming weeks, UnityBPO supervisors and analysts will go through CNM-designed micro-credential trainings to help them work on critical soft skills. Those soft skills will in turn help the company become even more efficient as it does everything from set up the technology necessary to run drive-through testing sites to ensure non-essential hospital employees can work safely from home.

“The partnership has been a really good opportunity for everyone,” says Stephen Mathewson, who oversees the micro-credentialing program at CNM. “We already had the general curriculum in place and have been working quickly to tailor it to UnityBPO’s timely and specific needs.”

Supervisors at UnityBPO will be working through the “Initiative” credential, which focuses on soft skills like leading without title, the ability to overcome anxiety, and the ability to advance.

“We all have characteristics we look for when we hire employees, and for me, I really value maturity,” says Stephen Wade, the CEO at UnityBPO. “I want people who are willing to take charge and also learn and grow.”

The analysts at UnityBPO, who answer incoming IT calls, will be working through the “Oral Communication” and “Creative Problem Solving” credentials, both of which will help them when complicated and urgent IT requests come through. 

“Sometimes our calls are just about a simple software problem, but other times we have doctors call us in the middle of an emergency surgery so we want to make sure our analysts have great communication and problem solving skills,” Stephen at UnityBPO says.

During a typical month, UnityBPO handles tens of thousands of calls and supports hundreds of thousands of patients and healthcare workers in 36 states. But during COVID-19, that volume has gone up significantly, in part because some of their clients are in the hardest-hit states including California and New York. In the meantime UnityBPO has also been transitioning many of its own 200-plus employees offsite to keep them safe. 

Luckily, all the micro-credentialing is done online and is self-paced. Stephen Mathewson and CNM professor Lynn Sally, who helped write the UnityBPO curriculum, also embedded healthcare specific scenarios to ensure the training is as customized as possible.

“We’re a technology company, so it’s really easy for us to teach technology, but it’s hard for us to develop the kinds of courses that CNM is offering us, so we’re really grateful,” says Stephen with UnityBPO.