feature story Employees visit Deloitte University for leadership and learning every couple of years, spending an average of three to five days at the center. It’s a style of learning that Deloitte feels helps employees build their skills. More than 100,000 learners have sharpened their skills at the center. Deloitte Destination Other companies choose to make the DFW area a permanent place for learning. One textbook example is Deloitte University, one of the “big four” professional services firms, which chose to locate its $300 million leadership and learning center in the Fort Worth suburb of Westlake. More than 100,000 learners have sharpened their skills at the center since its opening three years ago. The 107-acre, 712,000-square-foot complex allows Deloitte learners the physical and mental space needed to conduct the company’s experiential approach to learning, which is based on simulators and mimics professionals’ day jobs. It’s an action style of learning that Deloitte feels helps employees build their skills and make use of them on a daily basis at their jobs. For Deloitte’s 300,000 employees, that means a visit to Deloitte University at least every couple of years, said Peter Sackleh, managing director of the center. Each employee spends an average of three to five days at the center. Deloitte University is averaging en14 www.ntc-dfw.org FALL/WINTER 2015 rollment of about 65,000 students per year now, many of them external clients of the company, as well, preparing for new leadership roles. munity’s emphasis on education is very important to many of our corporations,” said Awtry. “North Texas was the right fit for Deloitte University,” said Sackleh. “We’re located in the middle of a beautiful working ranch, but close to an international airport. The cost of business, the climate, nimble local leaders, strong infrastructure and a well-qualified workforce all added up to opening this training center here.” The Town of Westlake is unique in that the town owns and operates its own charter school, Westlake Academy, that offers all three programs of the rigorous International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum – Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme and the Diploma Programme – and maintains the rating of Exemplary by the Texas Education Agency, as well as being nationally ranked by US News & World Report and Newsweek, and named one of 2015’s “Most Challenging High Schools” by the Washington Post. The school opened in 2003 and has just graduated its sixth class, a class of 54 graduating seniors who are receiving some $3.9 million in college scholarships. With Deloitte’s heavy emphasis on learning, it should come as no surprise that Westlake’s International Baccalaureate Program was an appealing aspect to the company’s location in the North Texas area and to the town, specifically, said Ginger Awtry, Director of Communications & Community Affairs for the Town of Westlake. “Besides the Town of Westlake’s beautiful scenery, with its rolling hills and cattle grazing, and the fact that we are right here in the middle of the Metroplex, just 15 miles west of DFW Airport, our com- “We have 820 students and more than 2,000 on our waiting list,” said Awtry. Seems everyone wants a piece of that Lone Star state of mind.