QUEBEC, QC – The City of Fort St. John, BC has won the National Municipal Professional Development Award from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) as recognition for its Employee Learning and Development Program.
The City was presented with the 2019 CAMA Professional Development Award, during CAMA’s national conference in Quebec, QC, in the 20,001 to 100,000 population category.
“CAMA is pleased to recognize the excellent effort and best practice being demonstrated by Fort St. John for their in-house professional development program to address availability of relevant training opportunities for City employees,” said Marc Landry, president of CAMA and City Manager for Moncton, NB.
According to CAMA, in Fort St. John, training opportunities for local organizations are limited due to the City’s location in the northern region of British Columbia. Significant travel costs meant professional development was limited, resulting in poor morale and frequent turnover of staff.
In 2016 the City of Fort St. John launched an internal professional development program with 16 in-house courses offered. With professional development being costly and limited due to accessibility from the region City staff decided to create their own program to increase staff morale and staff retention shared CAMA.
As City Council recognized investing in professional development is a valuable commitment to improving efficiency and effectiveness. Council approved additional funding in 2018 to partner with Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) School of Business, a Supervisory Skills Certificate was introduced. The program focused on providing human skills required for supervisory and management positions, with a further opportunity to take an additional four online-based courses to complete SAIT’s Applied Management Certificate shared CAMA.
According to CAMA, the City of FSJ can say staff morale has been positively impacted by a new sense of achievement and belonging which shows through increases in employee engagement, qualified internal hires, reduced costs, and improved retention. This program has created a culture of learning, as evidenced by the fact that participant registration has continued to increase.
“We are extremely pleased with the quality and scope of the 35 award submissions received for this year’s CAMA Awards of Excellence,” said Louis Coutinho, Chair for the 2019 CAMA Awards Jury, CAMA representative for Nova Scotia & PEI, and Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Windsor, NS. “Congratulations to the winners and all those who took the time to enter a submission.”
CAMA’s Professional Development Award recognizes a community that has developed a unique and innovative program for its staff and can be replicated in other communities. Since Canada has a unique mixture of small and large communities, awards are granted according to population – for municipalities under 20,000, for those between 20,001 and 100,000 and for those over 100,000.