Big Five Community Services kicked off its annual summer conference on Tuesday morning at the Ardmore Convention Center, and the organization’s entire staff will be in the city through Friday. Ardmore has hosted the event for the past five years and Executive Director Kent Watson said the city is ideal for their needs.
“Every year we bring in approximately 300 employees from 28 counties from all over the state for a week of intensive training,” Watson said. “Ardmore is the perfect place to do it and this facility is the perfect location because it’s one of the few places that has meeting rooms large enough for everyone but also has hotels on site that can house all of our people.”
The nonprofit organization focuses on providing outreach and emergency services to those in need, and Watson said the conference is a mix of large sessions for the entire group and specific courses for their various departments.
“The first day we have some general training sessions such as blood born pathogens, and we also do things for our employees such as having their insurance,” Watson said. “Then on days two, three and four we have some more intensive sessions specific to different programs like the Head Start program, the transportation program and aging services programs.”
Watson said the layout of the Ardmore Convention Center allows the organization to host numerous highly specific training sessions simultaneously.
“There are a lot of individualized and group break-out trainings for the different programs. Even within the job duties and job titles within those programs we are able to do further breakouts,” Watson said. “We end up cutting up the conference room pretty good.”