Making the Case for JCI Training
The Great Value of pursuing a training career
Vol. I, No. 04* 13 February 2009By JCI Sen. REGINALD T. YU, ITF Trainer, Inspirational Speaker and Author, Communicator
The word has been used almost ad nauseam as a campaign slogan by those running for JCI national office since the late ‘90’s.
Still others use it as a token vehicle to further their political ambitions within the JCI ladder.
Yet, amidst these ballyhooed attempts to “promote” training, only an infinitesimal fraction of our national organization’s 5,000-plus-strong membership actually realize – much less appreciate – the great value of pursuing a training career in JCI.
Interestingly, the general perception currently prevailing among our members is that, to be able to fully complete one’s JCI experience, he/she should have at least assumed the chapter presidency and/or have served in an elected national office.
This is understood to mean that, since JCI is a leadership development organization, one must have assumed the highest leadership position in either the local or national level to maximize this opportunity.
The idea of exclusively involving one’s self in JCI’s political arena can indeed be engaging and exciting, as he/she experiences the rough-and-tumble world of bureaucratic diplomacy, campaigns, backroom deals, mediations and compromise, while balancing the role of manager, coach, educator, ambassador and learner – all in just one year.
But adhering to the sole idea of developing one’s individual skills by holding a leadership post or assuming an officially-designated title of authority is missing the point of JCI’s new mission statement.
The movement clearly embraces different avenues to “provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change.”
Hence, the source of development opportunities do not emanate only from the authority enjoyed through an elective or appointive mandate. As a matter of course, throughout much of JCI history, a dominant wellspring of these individual opportunities have come from formal, time-tested and structured training programs that lend focus and direction for those willing to take advantage of them.
Indubitably, many of those who exclusively advocate the “political aspect” of maximizing the JCI experience fail to realize that a majority of the movement’s greatest leaders were once JCI trainers before they were local or national presidents.
Still, there are many who carry the misimpression those formal training programs to train future coaches were just an “afterthought” in the early ‘90’s. On the contrary, the concept of “training” in JCI dates back to the formative years of the international organization.
The preamble to the original 1946 JCI Constitution, for instance, lays down in clear and simple terms the need for:
“… adequate civic training of young men (which) will enable them to exercise decisive influence in the just solutions of the problems of humanity; determined to shield future generations from unhappiness brought about by misunderstanding among men and anxious to promote the well-being and progress of all peoples.”
Today’s JCI Training programs, however, are eons remote from the original in terms of objectives.
In 1948 for instance, recognition by JCI members of problems in international understanding resulted in a resolution calling for projects “designed to overcome the lack of knowledge of each other’s problems.”
Such undertakings would be of “supreme importance to the growth of JCI.”
In this regard, a study was commissioned to determine how much benefit could be achieved by an exchange program among the businessmen and craftsmen of JCI member nations, considering the wealth of information and insights to be derived from the customs, skills and cultures of different peoples.
As the years passed, JCI have leaned more and more towards the community service due to the prevailing dictum that “leadership is best learned and practiced in the community.”
When JCI Philippines was formed in 1948, this type of civic-oriented type of training program was already the culture prevalent in Junior Chamber. In fact, JCI activity at this juncture in its history dealt with youth activities furthering the cause of democracy through the promotion of speaking contests.
Leadership training and educational projects in the local chapters as well as in the exchange programs between JCI member-nations closely adhered to this principle until the early part of the ‘60’s.
A cursory glance at JCI Philippines’ history, however, reveals that formal training programs were as much a part of its dynamic existence as was the colorful political drama which preceded it.
THE SIXTIES: SOWING SEEDS
In the sixties, JCI Philippines began to shift its efforts towards developing more business-related arena, since more and more of its members were coming from the business and professional sectors.
Concerned with the lack of adequate training in advanced management, local JCI chapters organized a running series of management courses for young executives, as well as for other interested members.
Some local organizations even conducted educational courses to generate active and informed participation among government bureaucrats. It was during this period that JCI Philippines began to stress the importance of the training aspect of JCI work over the purely community service aspect.
It also became apparent to some national officers that the idea of training members was almost unknown amonglocal chapters, which was why in 1965, following the introduction of the first two-day post Congress training courses for JCI Officers, its national counterparts in JCI Philippines also adopted the concept of introducing seminars during the national conventions.
The training structure was institutionalized with the creation of a constitutional committee called the Leadership Training Committee in 1967, under which the Leadership Development Commission.
Emphasis on individual and chapter development became apparent.
An introduction to the US Jaycee-organized “Success Motivation Institute” in 1968 led to a new “Leadership In Action” (LIA) program, which was developed at the international level and was subsequently adopted as a program for JCI Philippines in 1969.
Another milestone in JCI training was the production and distribution of the first National Officers’ Training Manual.
Noted trainers during this period included Aurelio O. Periquet Jr., Amado A. Castro, Cesar Enrique A. Virata, Russel S. Swartley, and Senen B. dela Costa.
It was interesting to note that most of JCI Philippines’ early trainers were either schooled in Ivy League schools in the United States or were then employed as college professors in the University of the Philippines.
THE SEVENTIES: TAKING SHAPE
The Community Development program, which had been sponsored by PepsiCo International for 10 consecutive years, became a permanent JCI program in 1970.
PepsiCo sponsored JCI’s newly created Accent on Youth program (AOY), which aimed to provide youth with the opportunities to participate in the decision-making of whatever affected their day to day living. This program was drawn up during a period of unrest and search for relevance among the youth worldwide.
The “Leadership-In-Action / Community-in-Action” (LIA-CIA) program was what a lot of young people wanted when they joined JCI. Various manuals were produced by the National Secretariat on the subject and JCI Philippines conducted its own National Officer Training Courses.
In 1975, a Commission on Training was created to address the growing demand for trainers. New courses on “Letter Writing,” “Public Speaking,” and “Chapter Management” were no less in demand.
The outstanding JCI trainers during this period included Salvador B. Enriquez Jr., Iluminado B. Montemayor, Rogelio V. Fernandez, and Manuel B. Duldulao.
THE EIGHTIES: DEVELOPMENT
Training programs conceived in the ‘80’s were meant to stem the gradual decline of JCI membership worldwide. In 1981, a JCI Travel Training Team attempted to help weak national organizations develop.
A pilot “Training for Trainers” (TROT) program was initiated to develop internal trainer resources.
Under the supervision of JCI, two TROT programs were successfully conducted by JCI Philippines with the participation of 10 participants from 16 local organizations. This led to the formation of a “Speakers’ Bureau” that became a solid base of committed and effective trainers’ pool.
Largely through the efforts of JCI trainer-luminaries from JCI Manila, such as Jose Maria J. Fernandez, Eduardo C. Zialcita, Ramoncito Z. Abad, and Rufino Eduardo H. Abad, the pool of national trainers produced quality trainers from the Philippines, like Jaime G. Marquez, Rolando C. Ramirez, Emmanuel A. Bamba, Crispin C. Dy Jr., Wilfredo Segovia, Renato A. Soriano, Elmor T. Villaruel and Elmer B. Santos.
A certification program to recognize outstanding TROT graduates was eventually developed in 1984.
The eighties also produced its first Filipino female trainers like Maria Lilia R. Seelin, Luzviminda A. Vicencio, Marisa D. Nallana, Marites B. Laudencia, and Ditas C. Abes.
THE NINETIES: STRUCTURAL SHIFT
A radical structural shift in the JCI training, the JCI Training Institute was established in 1990.
New programs, such as Vanguard (Basic Leadership Development) Seminar for new members; JCI Prime (Basic Course for Trainers); and JCI Excel (Course Design Seminar) for advanced trainers, were launched.
This shift provided incentives and opportunities for members to improve their technical skills through specialized training, career development programs, and active participation in training efforts in the field.
A four-step certification level system (i.e. Certified Local Trainer, Certified National Trainer, International Graduate, and International Training Fellow) was supposed to hone a JCI trainer to near-perfection.
Only Santiago T. Joson was able to achieve the rank of International Graduate – the only Filipino trainer who held this rank for eleven years.
Notable training luminaries during this decade also included Marilyn S. Cano, Oliver E. Sicat, Lavinia B. Peñaverde, Mabel P. Villarica-Mamba, Charlie A. Martinez, and Jimmy T. Wingkee.
JCI TRAINING IN THE EARLY MILLENNIUM
JCI constantly changed its structure in the early years of the new millennium, operating more and more like a professional training organization to develop, and ultimately, skillful and responsible members.
In 2004, the training program underwent a major transformation with the launch of the JCI University, replacing the JCI Training Institute. Its curriculum is meant to ensure that JCI members develop into leaders with the right competencies to conduct projects and trainers in their own right.
More importantly, the program aims to develop in members a sense of social responsibility, fellowship, and entrepreneurship.
Thus, new courses, as JCI Presenter, JCI Trainer, JCI Designer, JCI Achieve, and JCI Admin, were introduced to a new generation of members.
A new JCI trainer’s certification program was also administered to encourage trainers to develop material that fits into the JCI University Curriculum.
Since the establishment of on-line tools in 2006, the JCI University has moved towards a more efficient operational system, as well as professional standards for training.
The more efficient system of reporting conducted training courses has resulted in more Filipino trainers achieving higher JCI certification ranking, eventually producing its first Filipino International Training Fellow (ITF) in December of 2007.
(The writer did not mention the name of such first ITF. It is he himself that he is referring to. – Editor … c”,)
Two other ITFs in the persons of Mennen M. Aracid, and Richard Denis D. Tan, who followed suit not long after, even took bigger steps as they were both tapped to assume the role of JCI University Coordinators for the Asia-Pacific regions in 2007 and 2008, respectively.
The first millennial decade’s new generation of prominent trainers included Cerwin T. Eviota, Gleendo B. Dasmariñas, Marc Voltaire A. Padilla, Lorelei M. Dasmariñas, Maximo Alexis A. Tan, Javier Francisco S. Paras, Leah Mae R. Paras, Felicisima C. Velasco, Maria Concepcion R. Hernandez, Grace G. Diocampo, Steve L. Arquiza, Jay Edward D. Amatong and Marfred J. Pranada.
(To the new members, Baby Jaycees and aspirants of JCI Cebu-Mactan Channel, the two names highlighted proudly carry the name of our JCI chapter! – Editor … c”,)
WHAT’S IN STORE FOR JCI TRAINING IN 2009?
As is the case for many JCI programs, training policies will always be constantly changing to reflect the necessities of the times.
A few weeks before this column was written, JCI’s General Assembly approved changing the name of “JCI University” to “JCI Training.” The name “JCI University” was not legally approved in the United States and, for this reason, JCI could no longer use that name.
Another change was the merging of the positions of Coordinators and Commissioners into one position and reducing the term from three years to one. In 2009, there will be one JCI Training Director and four JCI Training Commissioners.
The JCI flagship training programs have also undergone a facelift of sorts.
After General Assembly approved the recommendations of the Strategic Planning Committee and adopted a new JCI Mission and Vision at the 2008 JCI World Congress in New Delhi, India, the JCI World Headquarters began to update and adapt all publications to reflect the new Mission and Vision.
The JCI Achieve and JCI Admin courses required major changes.
JCI Admin was changed right after the JCI World Congress and the new version is already online for Certified JCI Head Trainers.
JCI Achieve also needed a revision and many changes were made on almost all modules. The new version, which has been online before January 1, 2009, is now very different from the old version.
Even the qualifications for existing JCI trainers were amended to become more restrictive.
According to the policy approved in January 2008 by the JCI Executive Committee, all trainers for JCI official courses who are not of JCI age and are not National Graduates (NGs), International Graduates (IGs), International Training Fellows (ITFs) or JCI Senators may no longer perform as Assistant or Head Trainers for any JCI official course.
It may be decades before we know if JCI made the right choices in its programs.
But one thing is certain:
JCI Training will always be an indelible part of Junior Chamber’s raison de’etre and will continue to be a significant piece of a member’s overall development puzzle, if one would choose to complete his stay in the movement.