Professional development plays a vital role in the journey of your career. While professional development is often offered by employers, each individual has to take his or her own initiative to improve their course. To breakdown the topic of professional development, we’re joined by two experts from Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging (WRAAA), Training and Development Specialist Molly Vollmer, MSSA, LSW, and Manager of Training and Development, Danielle Clay, LSW.

WRAAA is a unique organization when it comes to empowering their employees through professional development. Danielle shared, “While each person is responsible for his or her own learning, professional development, and career path, they’ll stay longer when they have an employer who invests in their ability to keep learning. Every year, we provide each employee a stipend to do this. It’s certainly a differentiator for the company and a big reason why people want to work here and stay here.”

Molly added, “Professional development is part of our culture. From day one, employees know that we expect them to continue to grow and learn because ultimately, that impacts the success of the entire company.”

The opportunities that WRAAA offers vary from certificate programs to speakers from organizations coming to the facility, to employees furthering their education with a master’s degree. In addition to these options, mentorship always plays a significant role in the company’s professional development philosophy.

Molly said, “Mentors are important in the beginning to your career. It’s good to have someone to look up to and have a resource to ask questions and provide guidance. New employees are assigned to a team lead or someone who can stay with them through the orientation process—a go-to person for them as they acclimate to a new environment.”

Discover more about WRAA’s culture of professional development and how you can choose the best continuing education program to help you meet your goals by listening to the podcast.

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