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SAN DIEGO – USA Federal Credit Union takes training seriously. In 2002 staffers here logged over 10,000 hours of training – that is five times the hours spent in 2001. According to MaryAnn Pearce, USAFCU staff development trainer, the increase was the result of USA FCU University. The “university” training runs the gamut from in-house training by supervisors and seminars to online classes offered by CUES. The CUES topics range from business writing, leadership skills and handling consumer complaints to basic financial math and hiring skills. Additional classes cover financial products, including annuities, IRAs and an assortment of loans. Still other classes satisfy compliance requirements set forth by the Fair Housing Act, the military and other governmental agencies. Pearce says that many of the classes are interactive and involve homework assignments and role-playing. In addition, with USAFCU’s expanded computer network, courses can be taught at multiple workstation locations at the same time. “E-training links directly to the overall success of the credit union,” said Pearce, who has 18 years of experience in training with financial institutions. “Taking an online class is more economical than traveling to a conference or workshop and offers a great deal of flexibility. Employees are more focused and productive because they can apply to their jobs the lessons they learned a few hours ago.” Since some USAFCU branches are overseas, the online offerings also provide a level training field for every employees regardless of their geographic location. “In many ways, our industry is at the start of electronic knowledge delivery,” said USA FCU President/CEO Mary Cunningham. “There are so many benefits to empowering employees with career-building skills and up-to-date information about financial products and services because members want their questions answered now. What you don’t know can hurt you.”

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