STU CRAIR FOUNDED Digital Workshop Center in 2006 with a simple idea: to help people build useful skills, not just get degrees.

This great business delivers technical education: web design, graphic design, business administration, and so on. Their much-needed content is supported by training that’s always live, which means more personal attention to students in the room.

What tweaked my interest recently was an announcement that they’ve developed a partnership with Homeless Gear to provide technical training – for free – to people in their Hand Up program.

As Homeless Gear becomes even more active in helping people rebuild lives, there’s a need to offer skill-building. And Digital Workshop Center is the perfect partner to help this happen, since they’ve provided re-skilling programs for years. With a central downtown location, they’re pretty accessible as well to those without vehicles.

So Stu and his team designed exclusive programs, offering MS Word training in April and MS Excel in July 2018. It’s a powerful example of improving the community not just by contributing money, but by building on the unique core skills of the company.

There may be no other business in the area as equipped as DWC to make a contribution like this. And as motivated.

But there’s another lesson we can take from how Stu approaches this: His measure of success is whether people in the program actually get jobs. It’s remarkable, because DWC provides just a piece of what they’ll need. For instance, they don’t train people on interviewing skills and writing a résumé.

They could had stayed safe with the usual metrics: attendees in each class, number of classes delivered, and so on. But those don’t measure benefit to their customers and to the community.

Instead, Stu focuses on true impact. It also drives him to have a deeper discussion with every client – not just those in this program – to understand their learning objectives and how DWC’s help supports their larger goals.

That’s what happens when you take the broader view of the mission of your business.