Taking a page from KRA’s highly successful Leadership Edge staff development program, on July 25, 2012, more than 35 staff members from KRA’s mid-Atlantic programs attended an all-day Cross Collaboration Edge workshop, led by Nate’ Gordon, Operations Manager for the mid-Atlantic area, and organized by Thomas Davis, Program Manager.
Kicking off the meeting, guest speaker Felicia Wessels, Life Skills Coach, struck a chord with participants when she emphasized bringing more than personal professional development goals to the job. Her message, “work for your passion, not your pension”, resonated with everyone in the room.
Under the theme of “Progressing with Best Practices and Procedures”, staff attended workshops germane to their particular positions: Program Managers; Career Agents and Case Managers; Instructors, including Employment Specialists and Job Coaches; and Job Developers. Emphasizing program effectiveness, efficiency, and quality assurance, dozens of topics and subtopics were addressed, a few examples of which are presented below.
Data Collection and Reporting, presented by Richard Rice, Quality Assurance Specialist, emphasized the criticality of not only gathering the right data, and doing so timely, but also building feedback mechanisms internally, with clients, and other community stakeholders to use data to improve program operations.
LaShon Philson, Job Developer, addressed Knowing the Job Market, which stressed that thorough analysis of the local job-market enhances opportunities for partnering with employers with the greatest need for qualified workers, with examples drawn from different business sectors in the DC-Baltimore labor market.
The Right Curriculum was led by Greg Alexander, Job Coach, who focused on the reality that one size does not fit all, and showcased KRA’s latest on-line learning tools that can be used to better tailor curriculum to customers’ interests and needs.
Gordon concluded, “This kind of training is central to KRA’s mission of continually strengthening its service delivery systems to our clients and our customers. By bringing together staff from different programs, we are able to maximize operational effectiveness by sharing successes, exploring best practices, and discussing challenges that arise in providing optimal service.”