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ss2021grads
Job shadowing increases staff skills

Nine employees with UW Facilities’ Building Services Department graduated last month from Stepping Stones for Success, a training program offered by the Facilities Training Center in conjunction with the sponsoring department. These proud custodial staff were given opportunities to learn leadership skills necessary for advancing their careers to lead, supervisor and management positions.

Custodians Tedros Bahta, Isaac Cleveland II, Solomon Fret, Brhan Gebreselase, Zewdi Ghebretsadik, Teresa Reynoso, Georgina Tabasan, Solomon Teklab and Darren Thomas represent the seventh cohort to graduate from the Stepping Stones training program. The first cohort graduated in 2015.

SSP_2021_group_withSarahLA blog.jpg

2021 Stepping Stone Graduates, left to right: Solomon Teklab, Solomon Fret, Teresa Reynoso, Instructor Sarah Lewis-Assink, Isaac Cleveland II, Georgina Tabasan, Zewdi Ghebretsadik, Darren Thomas (Not pictured: Brhan Gebreselase and Tedros Bahta). Photo by Amanda Dassoff

The program, which was postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was previously held in-person but was moved to a mostly Zoom format this year. New this year was a requirement that students presented a Capstone project or presentation.

As part of the program, students followed managers and supervisors for ten days to experience firsthand what working as a supervisor is like.

“The managers and supervisors really dig deep and make shadowing a memorable experience,” said Cleveland.

Instructor Sarah Lewis-Assink congratulated the students on their achievement, as did UW Facilities Vice President Lou Cariello and interim AVP for UWF Operations Anne Eskridge.

“You took on the task of improving your skill set during a pandemic,” said Eskridge. “You’ve shown amazing work on your part that you cared enough about yourself, our institution, and the future, so thank you for all that you’ve done.”

In total, the Building Services Department has graduated more than six dozen people from the program. UWF employees interested in participating in the 2022 program that begins next February should contact their supervisor. UWF will be organizing Stepping Stones programs in 2022 for the Building Services and Maintenance & Operations departments.