Mentoring workshop in Asheville to focus on generational diversity

Mentoring has long been recognized as an effective strategy for professional development and organizational success. Now that five generations of employees are working side-by-side for the first time in history, mentoring is more important than ever, human resources experts say.

To help employers understand how to leverage the skills and experiences of a diverse workforce, Western Carolina University will offer “Experience is a Terrible Thing to Waste: Mentoring Today’s Workforce” on Thursday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the university’s instructional site at Biltmore Park.

Through attending the workshop, participants will gain a greater appreciation for the value of mentoring as a business strategy, as well as how to tailor mentoring strategies to fit differing generational values and expectations.

Tim Sparks

“Mentoring is more than the transfer of knowledge,” said Tim Sparks, a human resources expert who will lead the workshop. “It is a two-way give-and-take that benefits mentors, proteges and organizations. The return on investment for both individuals and organizations has been documented again and again.”

With more than 20 years of experience in human resources, including work with Fortune 500 companies, Sparks specializes in leadership development, change management and strategic business planning. He currently serves as the human resource manager for Multi Packaging Solutions in Hendersonville. He also has 15 years of experience in education as a principal and teacher.

The cost to attend the workshop is $99. Upon successful completion of the training, attendees may receive four Society for Human Resources professional development credits.

For details and to register, go to and click on “Mentoring Today’s Workforce” or contact Jill Thompson, WCU associate director of professional development, at 828-227-3070.

WCU’s Division of Educational Outreach extends access to education and training through innovative courses, programs and services for individuals and communities both locally and globally. For more information, go to