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Bersin & Associates Announces 2010 Learning Leaders Program and Call for Applications

Program Recognizes Organizations with High-Impact Corporate Training and Talent Management

Oakland, CA – July 23, 2009 – Bersin & Associates, the only research and advisory firm focused on enterprise learning and talent management, today announced the call for applications for the Bersin & Associates 2010 Learning Leaders Program, a research-driven program designed to recognize innovation and excellence in critical areas of corporate training and talent management.

Organizations interested in applying can go to www.bersin.com/leaders to download applications. The deadline for application submission is October 9, 2009.

The Bersin & Associates Learning Leaders Program will recognize up to 25 winning organizations. The program is targeted to organizations which have developed and implemented highly effective and efficient approaches to learning and talent management resulting in significant business improvement. The program also has categories for providers of training and talent management products and services whose customers have improved efficiency and effectiveness by using the latest technologies, content or approaches.

Organizations can apply in one or more of the following categories: (1) operational training and development excellence, (2) leadership development excellence, (3) learning and talent initiative excellence, (4) learning and talent technology excellence, (5) learning organization and governance excellence, and (6) vendor innovation in learning and talent management. Each category (with the exception of vendor innovation) has three segments based on organization size: global enterprise, enterprise, and mid-market. Applicants are evaluated along with peers in the same segment.

According to Josh Bersin, president, the Learning Leaders program has grown significantly since its launch in 2006. “Learning Leaders has become one of our core ongoing research initiatives and we’ve built a large body of material around the program to promote best practices,” said Bersin. “Every year, we’re floored by the significant business results achieved by training and HR organizations. Given the current recession, we expect this year’s applications will include some compelling cases of how organizations are managing critical programs -- such as leadership development, performance management, or learning on-demand -- with fewer resources.”

Winning organizations and their learning and talent management programs will be showcased in a special awards issue of Elearning! Magazine, the media partner for the Bersin & Associates Learning Leaders Program. Winning programs also will be featured at the Bersin & Associates IMPACT 2010 research conference, to be held April 6-8, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida. In addition, Bersin & Associates will develop its annual Learning Leaders report on best practices, findings, and observations collected during the evaluation process. Other program-related activities include public webinars featuring specific training and talent management topic areas and leaders.

According to Dr. Karie Willyerd, vice president and CLO of Sun Microsystems, named a 2007 and 2008 Learning Leader, participation in the program has important benefits. “When we win a Learning Leaders award, we win three ways. First, our customers see that we've been validated by an independent authority. Second, it reinforces our corporate brand values of innovation and knowledge sharing. Third, it's a tremendous morale boost for our staff."

Previous winners include organizations from around the world in a range of sizes and industries. These include Vestas, a Denmark-based pioneer in the wind power industry, which launched a highly successful, global e-learning initiative for new employee onboarding; Freeman, whose HR organization was able to build a highly integrated, strategic and customer-driven approach to managing the entire employment lifecycle; and the U.S. Air Force, whose progressive, career-spanning development program for officers involved defining the competencies and level of proficiency required at every rank.

For an in-depth look at past winning initiatives, interested candidates can download the free report, Learning Leaders: Lessons from the Best. In addition, they may attend the upcoming webinar, Learning Leaders: Excellence in Manufacturing Processes, featuring representatives from past winners Boeing and Textron Corp, on August 20, 2009, 2:00 p.m. ET. In this session, Josh Bersin will host a discussion about how these companies have created value in their organizations with training programs that improve highly complex operations. To register, go to http://events.interwise.com/?p=502001&t=7&s=bersin. For a complete list of last year’s winners, go to http://www.bersin.com/Leaders/2008_winners.asp.

“We’re pleased to be the media partner for Learning Leaders four years running,” said Catherine Upton, publisher of Elearning! Magazine. “Our editorial and ELearning! Summit events featuring the Learning Leaders continue to be very popular with our audiences who want to know about proven strategies and approaches. As a result, we plan to expand our Learning Leaders coverage with a special awards issue of the magazine in 2010 which will look in depth at the challenges faced by the winners and their learning and talent solutions.” Upton added that the Learning Leaders coverage to date was named “Best Series” in 2009 by The Western Publishers Association.

About Bersin & Associates

Bersin & Associates is the only research and advisory firm focused solely on research in enterprise learning, talent management, and talent acquisition. The company’s WhatWorks® membership program is designed to deliver actionable and practical guidance and to improve operational effectiveness and business impact.

Bersin & Associates research members gain access to a comprehensive library of best practices, case studies, benchmarks, and in-depth market analyses designed to assist professionals in making fast and confident decisions. Members also have direct access to analysts and a wide range of tested tools and models to address both strategic and day-to-day challenges. More than 5,000 organizations have used Bersin & Associates’ research and advisory services to guide talent and corporate learning strategies.

Research areas include planning and strategy, learning programs and delivery, talent management, leadership development and succession planning, talent acquisition, technology and infrastructure, informal learning, social networking, measurement and analytics. For more information, go to www.bersin.com or call 561 455 0622, extension 223.

About Elearning!

Elearning! Magazine is the exclusive voice of the $60 billion enterprise learning market. The publication serves every US corporation headquarters- with 1000 employees or more. Elearning! Online- consisting of Elearning! Web site, E-News, Alert and Elearning! Summits- attract more than 1 million professionals annually. Elearning! helps executives build smarter companies with learning technology. For more information, go to: is www.2elearning.com.