The American Society for Training & Development’s (ASTD) awards ceremony, held at the ASTD International Conference & Expo in Washington, recognized organizations that advance the knowledge of the workplace learning and performance profession, and contribute to increasing workforce capability and organizational competitiveness. This year, the society recognized Farmers Insurance Group of Cos. for its University of Farmers, which received the top learning and development awards.

The University of Farmers claims, leadership and management training facility located in Agoura Hills, California, was officially dedicated Nov. 3, 2006. Farmers CEO Robert Woudstra notes that the University is national in scope, and offers training to 15,000 Farmers agents; 500 district managers; and 21,000 employees.

"The winning organizations advance the knowledge of the workplace learning and performance profession and contribute to increasing workforce capability and organizational competitiveness," says Tony Bingham, ASTD president and CEO. "Their accomplishments demonstrate how learning increases the performance and success of organizations worldwide."

Excellence in Practice Awards are presented to proven practices that have delivered measurable results for their organizations. Farmers Insurance Group / University of Farmers - Field Training, Agoura Hills, Calif., received two of the 17 awards—one with partner, Inner Harbor Partners for Improved Performance.

The Excellence in Practice Citations are presented to organizations with practices that have shown that they will demonstrate measurable results. Farmers received three of the 48 citations:

• Farmers Insurance Exchange / University of Farmers, Claims, Agoura Hills, Calif.
• Farmers Insurance Group / University of Farmers, Grand Rapids, Mich.
• Farmers Insurance Group / University of Farmers, Field Training, Agoura Hills, Calif., with partner, Inner Harbor Partners for Improved Performance

"Our success lies in the University's support of our district managers, agents, and our employees,” says Annette Thompson, SVP and chief learning officer of Farmers. “We have a top-notch team of dedicated instructors and a first-class curriculum to offer the best learning experience in the insurance industry."

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