The University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences and four trade associations in the flooring industry have established the Partnership for Executive Development and Business Growth, a customized program designed to provide participants with an opportunity to study the essentials of business management and develop new skills and strategies to grow their businesses.

Participating in the Partnership are the Association of Rug Care Specialists, National Wood Flooring Association, North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors and the World Floor Covering Association. The Partnership program is available exclusively to members of these associations who are business owners, senior managers and managers being groomed to lead a business in some capacity.

The Partnership will combine traditional classroom work with online courses, reducing the amount of time participants spend away from their businesses. It will tap into the full resources of the University, including the Center for Organizational Dynamics and the Department of Economics, as well as professors from the Wharton School, widely recognized as one of the world’s leading business schools, and the Wharton Small Business Development Center.

“Education is a fundamental mission of each of the trade associations in the Partnership,” said Jim Walters, immediate past chairman of the World Floor Covering Association, “but the emphasis has been overwhelmingly on improving members’ technical skills at the expense of business management skills. The Partnership is an incredible opportunity for trade association members to develop their management skills and learn strategies for growing their businesses at one of the country’s most respected academic institutions.”

The program is expected to begin in January 2013. Penn faculty and staff are currently conducting an assessment among members of the four trade associations to ensure the curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of the participants. It is anticipated that the curriculum will include courses such as Marketing for Success, Family Business Planning and Succession Issues, Negotiating Skills, and Financial Management. Cost for the program will be determined when the curriculum is finalized.

Additional information is available by contacting Rita McGlone