Professional development program encourages employee success and workplace development

The Professional Development Scholarship Fund is a new opportunity for employees to learn new skills and further their careers. It comes as part of the Investing In YOU initiative, and in collaboration with the King County Coalition of Unions, sets aside available funds for employees who have applied to take training that occurs in 2019.

A one-year pilot program, the scholarship fund comes as a direct result of the annual employee engagement survey. From the 2017 survey, it was noted that employees are passionate about their career growth, and actively seeking ways to develop their abilities. These results helped prompt the County and the Coalition of Unions to come together during Master Labor Agreement negotiations and offer this opportunity for employees to enhance their work related skills.

“We want employees to have the opportunity to develop and learn new skills so they can get better at the job they’re already doing or take their careers in a new direction if that’s their goal,” Whitney Abrams, Chief People Officer said. “The Professional Development Scholarship Fund provides funding so employees can learn, grow, and advance with us.”

The scholarship can award a maximum allotment of $2,500 per qualified employee in 2019 for approved training. Employees who can apply must be career service, civil service or appointed employees who are in the Coalition of Unions who:

  • have completed at least one year of full or part time King County employment in a position eligible to receive all county benefits (this includes any time spent in a Term Limited Temporary position); AND
  • have completed their initial probationary period, if applicable; AND
  • have no documented performance or discipline issues for at least one year from the date of submitting an application form for the Scholarship Fund

Eligible employees can apply online where successful applications will be sent to the Scholarship Review Committee for review. Once chosen, scholarship recipients agree to the program policies and begin the process of attending their desired training.

”One of the key issues that comes up in the annual employee survey is that employees want more opportunities to learn and acquire skills to advance their careers,” Whitney said. ”This fund is a great example of management and labor working together to provide a benefit that is really valued by employees.”

Application deadline dates are throughout the year, with the current opportunity to apply closing Friday, April 12. Awards will then be made by May 10 for training that begins on or after May 17.

King County is working towards creating a workplace where employees are supported to learn, innovate, and grow their career while doing their best work for our community. We are excited to provide development resources such as the Professional Development Scholarship Fund to help employees map out their career path.

For more information visit the Professional Development Scholarship Fund Program webpage or email ScholarshipFund@kingcounty.gov.

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