CPED Celebrates 75 Years of Helping Organizations Move Forward

Over the last 75 years, we’ve helped thousands of individuals and organizations achieve success. The Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional & Executive Development was founded in 1944 under the name The Industrial Management Institutes. It was created to fill a need for specialized training of supervisors in industry and prepare WWII soldiers to re-enter the workforce.

These Institutes were set up under the Engineering, Science, and Management War Training Program of the United States Office of Education and were jointly sponsored by the School of Commerce and the Extension Division of the University of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Manufacturer’s Association gave full co-operation and support to the program.

Original Objectives of the Institutes Program:

  1. Train executive, staff, and supervisory management personnel to recognize more clearly and  carry out more effectively their duties and responsibilities as an integral part of management.
  2. To keep enrollees informed on the newest developments in management techniques, both in practice and research.
  3. To develop in management personnel the best qualities of leadership and most effective techniques of handling people.
  4. To promote cooperation and exchange of information between companies resulting in mutual benefit through more efficient management.
  5. To develop a better understanding of our free enterprise system and its needs.
  6. To train management people to become better conference leaders by acting as discussion leaders for the various institutes.

In the first year of existence, twenty-three institutes were held with 386 plant superintendents, foremen, and supervisors in attendance. The response to these Institutes were so favorable that the School of Commerce and the Extension Division enlarged the scope of the Industrial Management Institutes to more effectively cover the correlated fields of management.

Over the next several years, our organization, and the programs offered, expanded and adapted to the growing needs of our audience. In 2014, after several name changes and organizational structures, the organization officially became the Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional & Executive Development.

While much has changed in the last 75 years, our core mission of providing specialized business training has not. Today, we offer more than 70 Professional Development Programs at the Fluno Center and work with hundreds of organizations to create on-site Custom Development Solutions. We’re proud to further the Wisconsin Idea by providing in-depth, interactive professional development opportunities that help individuals and organizations move forward.

View a timeline of our history here.

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