Okanogan County Local Planning Area Announces Free Workshops for Business Owners, Managers, Supervisors, and HR Personnel

Over 100 community members from Okanogan County and beyond attended free workshops sponsored by the Okanogan County Local Planning Area in November. A two-part “Excellence in Management” presentation by Michael Nash of Nash Consulting, Inc. on November 16, 2012 drew 69 participants.  Jack Kaplan, Employer Resource Specialist with Career Path Services’ drew over 40 participants to his workshop on “Behavioral Interviewing” on November 9, 2012.

Nash’s workshops addressed “Creating a Positive Workplace Environment” and “Giving Feedback to Employees without Lowering Morale.”  He emphasized managers’ roles in creating and maintaining high morale atmospheres that are efficient, productive, and provide good customer service.  Nash provided participants with specific tools and ideas of how to strengthen relationships and address corrective action when it becomes necessary.

Kaplan’s “Behavioral Interviewing” workshop addressed the premise that how someone has behaved in the past is the best indicator of future behavior.  Utilizing behavioral interviewing techniques can help ensure employers hire the best candidate the first time and reduce the high cost of turnover. Turnover costs are estimated to be more than $5500.00 per vacancy for an $8 per hour position, according to recent studies.  Hiring that focuses too heavily on technical skills or “gut feelings” too often results in incompatibility and turnover.

Nash returns to Okanogan on February 13, 2013 to present on “Behavior Styles:  Managing Others with Trust and Respect” and “Internal Customer Service.”  The series concludes on April 17, 2013 when Ellis Amdur of the Edgewood Crisis Intervention Resources presents his training, “De-Escalation of Aggressive and Mentally Ill Individuals.”  All trainings are free to the public.  Registrations will be handled by calling the Economic Alliance office at 509-826-5107.

These workshops are offered free of charge to community partners and businesses through a WorkFirst Innovation Incentive grant awarded to the Okanogan County Local Planning Area (LPA).  The Economic Alliance has partnered with the LPA to provide marketing resources and registration for the workshops. The LPA partners of the Okanogan Community Services Office, WorkSource – Omak, Career Path Services, and Wenatchee Valley College spearheaded the grant project.  The LPA establishes a network of local businesses and agencies that may all have a role in helping WorkFirst families move from welfare to work. Their goal with the grant is to provide timely and relevant training to those partners.

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