For many of those attending the second quarterly all-day employee development conference on February 11, it was an opportunity to meet coworkers from some of the outlying counties in the TAPS service area.
For others, it was yet another day of intensive learning that would enhance their value as employees. Everyone had a slightly different reason to attend the TAPS University quarterly conference at Grayson College’s Center for Workplace Learning in Denison.
Tammy Johnson, manager of Employee Training and Development, spent over a year producing the first conference in November 2013. “We always know that the challenge is to build a program that not only delivers the necessary training and certifications work, but to provide programs that speak to our needs as individuals as well,” said Johnson.
Each conference includes an update on company projects and plans from key members of management, and one or more keynote speakers from outside of the company.
Teresa Foster, TAPS CFO, was the keynote speaker at the February 15 event. She shared her personal story with the group to underscore how seemingly tragic life experiences can provide a foundation for individual growth. Foster is part of the team that saved the flailing transportation agency from bankruptcy just five years ago.
At the February conference Shawn Teamann, VP Marketing and Training for Nautilus Fitness, presented a program on how to begin a fitness program. The well-received program had a big finish. Teamann announced that TAPS had contracted with Nautilus Fitness Centers to offer free membership and club privileges to every employee.
“TAPS wants to invest in the health and happiness of all its employees,” said Tammy Johnson. “Providing no-cost basic plans and low-cost upgraded plans is a way to give encouragement to anyone who wants to get on the road to a healthier lifestyle.” Most of the Nautilus locations are open 24/7.
Before the end of the day, more than two dozen employees received awards for successfully passing the PASS Driver Certification Program. The Passenger Service and Safety (PASS) Driver Certification Program ensures that community transportation drivers have current expertise in passenger assistance techniques and sensitivity skills appropriate for serving persons with disabilities.