With over 25 years of experience and a vast knowledge of one of the biggest government agencies in the State of Arizona—the Department of Corrections—Bill Foster is no stranger to its inner workings.
Foster is the industrial operations administrator for Arizona Correctional Industries, an organization that provides the state prisons’ incarcerated population an opportunity to learn traits and skills which can help them earn employment and be a productive member of society upon their release.
In this position, Foster’s interest was piqued by Bob Ramsey Executive Education at ASU.
“What interested me was that most of these programs are tailored around governmental positions and agencies,” Foster stated. “So many times there is a lot of training which does not tackle that. Our challenges can be a little bit different than those in the business world.”
Having completed 13 seminars at Bob Ramsey Executive Education, Foster has been able to utilize the information and lessons learned. Not only local offices but also local businesses, such as Hickman’s Family Farms, have signed contracts with the company to have inmates provide paid labor and give back to the community during their rehabilitation.
“A lot of what I’ve taken away is continuing the lessons once you’re out,” Foster said. “I have a team of seven field experts, and I’m able to bring them together and share what I have learned.”
Foster says two members of his team have since enrolled in the program. He hopes all members eventually will take at least some courses, which could only strengthen communication within an already tightknit group.
Foster stresses that the day-to-day tasks of government agencies change drastically, and much of his previous trainings could not quite keep up with current trends. He felt quite different about his experience with Bob Ramsey Executive Education.
“You know, a lot of training is old, past information,” Foster explained. “What I found in the Bob Ramsey program is that most, if not all, of their information was current and helped us to look at what we could potentially be looking at tomorrow.”