Friday, March 31, 2017
In November 2016, the Department of Facilities Management was awarded the Outstanding Workplace Education Partnership Award for the University’s GED and ESL program from the Virginia Association for Adult and Continuing Education.
As a partner and sponsor of this program, the Center for Leadership Excellence (CLE) was invited to attend the award ceremony and deliver an acceptance speech. CLE team member Diane Ober, who coordinates the program with Facilities Management and the Adult Learning Center, gave the following speech at the ceremony:
One of the students in our program contributed a poem that was published in the Thomas Jefferson Adult and Career Education Group 2016 book, Voices of Adult Learners. This is an excerpt from April Poteet’s poem Learn, Live, Life:
“Education will never leave you, betray you, or lie to you…It will be a reflection of what greatness you can achieve and who you can be.”
I am Diane Ober and I work for the Center for Leadership Excellence, which is part of University Human Resources at UVA, and here is our vision as stated on our website:
“The Center for Leadership Excellence (CLE) believes in the University’s culture of shared leadership – the idea that everyone is a leader, regardless of position. Whether you’re looking to develop your skills, your leadership, your career, or your team, we’re here to help by providing a large selection of classes and custom programs.”
One of the University HR’s vision statements reads “the University is a wonderful place to work if you want more than just a job: it’s a place to build a career, a place to make a difference.” We sincerely mean these wonderful words and we work very hard to make them possible for our staff; but many come to their jobs facing difficulty in “growing a career,” or believing they have the resources to move ahead in title, position or salary.
My goal and what I see as my most important job at the Center for Leadership Excellence is to help create, coordinate, and implement classes and workshops for the individual learner at UVA, wherever they are and of whatever status in their work world. With this intent and with support from the CLE, UHR, and Facilities Management, we are able to help coordinate what the Thomas Jefferson Adult and Career Education Group does, four days a week, for eight months of each year. This is to work closely with UVA staff who wish to improve their reading, writing, and English speaking skills and perhaps prepare for and take the GED exam.
I believe that for many employees, this is the foundation for believing in themselves, and having the confidence to plan career goals. If I can be a small part of that I have done my job. I thank Facilities Management and Susan Erno and all her staff and teachers for being a bigger part of it, too. I’d like to close citing another employee/student Said El Hachimi El Idrissi. In this piece, Why is Education So Important? he quotes former President Obama whose words beautifully reflect the work we are involved with and believe in:
“Every single one of you has something that you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide”.