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YP Professional Development During Tough Economic Times

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What happens when the “going gets tough”, professional development budgets are scaled back and there's limited available funding for training? In the recent tough economic climate, employees may be more concerned with job security while their employers are challenged to maintain employees' morale and provide career development opportunities with increasing financial constraints.

A few of CH2M HILL's young professionals (YPs) created a solution to this problem in the form of an internal group called the “Junior Wastewater Technology Network”. The Network was endorsed by senior technology staff, and launched in September 2009. Its purpose is to emphasize networking, foster peer-mentorship opportunities, and the career development of junior to mid-level staff interested on the wastewater treatment technology career path.

The Network initiatives have included monthly meetings using online tools and the development of brief technology-training presentations called “30-minute workouts”. These activities are intended to facilitate mentoring and networking by pairing junior level with experienced senior staff together when doing presentations and other activities.

The Network has operated for over one year and has received positive feedback from junior level staff globally across the firm. The expected benefits include engaging YPs to take charge of their own professional development, employee retention, mentoring; and a very cost-effective professional development tool for the firm.

Keywords: Professional development; young professionals

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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