New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) developed a technology-based training program to help develop skill sets for Alex and Ani employees regarding the architectural concepts and challenges they encounter around consistent showroom design. Alex and Ani is a rapidly-growing retailer and producer of jewelry headquartered in Cranston, Rhode Island.
In May 2013, CTI’s Steve Kitchin engaged in a conversation at World Trade Day with Alex and Ani’s Transitional Operations office. The Transitional Operations office focuses on the development and management of Alex and Ani’s commercial expansion projects, with primary emphasis on its marquee retail showrooms. Working closely with the firm’s Corporate Architect, the TO office ensures Alex and Ani brand standards are consistently maintained in each retail location.
CTI initiated a discussion internally with New England Tech’s Architectural Building Engineering Technology (ABT) department and a customized training program was developed and incorporated into a proposal that was accepted by Alex and Ani.
Delivery of the training began in January 2014 and encompassed 14 distinct topical sessions which were conducted at NEIT’s East Greenwich campus by architectural department faculty members. Alex and Ani raised a concern about keeping team members connected to the training while on assignment away from Corporate Headquarters. To accommodate this, NEIT utilized an online meeting and collaboration tool by which most classroom training sessions were streamed live so that any Alex and Ani team member away from Rhode Island simply had to “remote in” via the Internet to access and view the training in real-time. Sessions were also archived to be viewed asynchronously.
The training was well received and favorably evaluated by the participants. Post–training, Alex and Ani actively sought out students in NEIT’s Building Construction and Cabinetmaking program for paid internship opportunities at a Newport mansion restoration project undertaken by Alex and Ani’s CEO Carolyn Rafaelian.