How to Help Clients with Questions: Filling the Role of Digital Information Broker in County Offices

County support staff members have long been the ‘face’ of our Cooperative Extension Service (CES) systems. They are the first people the public interacts with when visiting an Extension office or the first voice heard when someone calls with a question. Over the last decade CES support staff have been transformed from clerical workers to information brokers. With fewer educators/agents covering more territory, these county-based staff members often have no one to turn to with questions. They need to know how to help clientele connect with information and resources.

The State and Local Value Enhancement initiative is offering an online train-the-trainer workshop focused on training two Extension professionals from each institution to deliver support staff training. The workshop will be lead by Lela Vandenberg from Michigan State University and will be delivered by webinar in December 2012. After completing the training participants will be able to:
● Deliver a series of 60 minute webinars to small groups of support staff
and will receive:
● A detailed lesson plan and related materials
● Continued support as needed from the trainers.

We are hoping that following the training each institution will offer the workshop in 2013.

If you are interested in participating or would like to recommend someone from your institution please register at: or contact: Terry Meisenbach – or 760.328.8260 or Jerry Thomas or 419.306.9400