Development Concepts is a small, privately held company based in Knoxville, TN with 20+ years of experience.

The company began operation over twenty years ago, providing business services, consulting, and coaching to a wide range of clients. This includes entrepreneurs just getting started to Fortune 500 corporations, government entities, and nonprofit organizations in locations near to us and as far away as Macedonia. During the last decade, while we have continued and will continue to support our existing technical services clients, our organizational and personal consulting services are now our focus.

Technical Workforce, Organizational, and
Individual & Team Development

Technical Workforce Development

We support technical workforce development by providing off the shelf, customized, and EEOC compliant assessments and related services.

Organizational Development

We support organizational development by providing diagnostics, change and effectiveness consulting.

Individual & Team Development

We support individual and team development within organizations with customized services including executive, team, and associate development. Coaching, conflict resolution, team building, and succession planning are examples of services we’ve offered.

Our Services & Responsiveness Reflect Our Experience

All of our clients receive a customized consultation approach and our full attention, regardless of the size of a project or the volume of work. We don’t rely upon a proprietary tool learned years ago to meet each client’s unique needs. We choose from a variety of processes, techniques and tools, selecting or creating that which will serve each client best. And we partner with others who are equally experienced and value oriented.

We’ve had rich and diverse experiences as leaders in a number of industries.  Our educational backgrounds include engineering, business and psychology. If you are looking for a huge consulting firm, then we’re not likely to be the best advisors for you. If you are seeking a team that will work diligently to find the best solution for your needs, even if that means helping you find better support, then we may be a fit for you.

Our History

George Cooper started Development Concepts over twenty five years ago. What began with a focus on specialized technical assessment support quickly grew to provide services in a number of areas, including multi-year training program development, EEOC compliant assessment development, consultation services, and organizational development. George laid the foundation for the success that continues today, as Development Concepts continues to support a wide range of clients — including those who have used our assessments since the 1990s.

To learn more about our founder, or our team, please click the elements below.

George R. Cooper, III, Founder (1954 - 2015)

George started out in the manufacturing world as an engineer after graduating from Georgia Tech with a mechanical engineering degree, then moved to maintenance management—in fact, he continued to think of himself as a maintenance man, first, no matter his focus. Shifting to work for a Tier One automotive supplier, he held positions in operations and quality management, including responsibility for implementation of the Toyota Production System (TPS) across his division’s worldwide locations. Along the way, he obtained an EMBA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

His extensive real-world experience perfectly set the stage for creating a consulting practice focusing on the development of content-validated technical assessments used for selection, qualification and determination of training needs for jobs with specialized knowledge, as well as the development of customized training curricula and materials to assist clients in improving the skills of their incumbent workforce. Having been a practitioner in the industrial world with a broad technical background made him uniquely qualified to consult from a position of experience and expertise.

In recent years, George became active in the areas of public education and skilled workforce development in an effort to address the shortage of qualified candidates for skilled jobs. He partnered with regional secondary and post-secondary education institutions and employers to bridge the gap between schools’ curricula, students’ demonstrable proficiencies, and employers’ needs. He projected the emergence of an industrial renaissance in the United States, and the need to provide clear pathways to the many skilled jobs that exist for people in all walks of life. He was passionate in his work in these areas, and his legacy continues to bear fruit as demonstrated by the success of his and others’ combined efforts.

Principal | Andria L. Yates, PhD

Andria first worked as an engineer after obtaining her hard earned bachelor’s degree in mechanical and materials engineering from Vanderbilt University. After her years in quality assurance and manufacturing management, she left the manufacturing world and completed a doctoral program in psychology, adding a few formal letters to her name along with the concentration in industrial and organizational psychology.

She has worked in management and executive positions in manufacturing, human resources, and new media businesses in addition to her continued consulting practice.

She also serves as part time faculty at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she has taught a variety of courses in the Haslam Business College and created seminars for the Psychology Department in areas such as Social and Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness. As Dr. Yates, she also leads study abroad courses in Cultural Psychology and serves as a leadership coach in the four Executive MBA programs.

Andria is a systems thinker, which influences all areas of her work (and life outside of work.) Her consulting spans the boundaries of organizational and individual services, with an overarching emphasis on the health and effectiveness of the system, whether the system is an organization, a group, or an individual. This includes work as quantitatively focused as creating pre-employment assessments and analyzing the results of an employee or client survey (which greatly appeal to her metaphorical left brain) to the more qualitative efforts involved in coaching others and leading experiential retreats in self discovery (engaging more of her right brain.)

She now adds leading Development Concepts and the management of the team that continues to provide the services George and she created together for many years. In addition, Andria created Reach & Thrive, a specialized consultancy that supports individuals and groups in personal development.

Get in Touch with Development Concepts

If you’d like to know more about how Development Concepts can assist you or your organization, please contact us to see if we might be the right fit for your development needs.

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