Magazine article Policy & Practice

Association News

Magazine article Policy & Practice

Association News

Article excerpt

NSDTA's Annual Conference Ascends to Excellence

The National StaffDevelopment and Training Association (NSDTA) assembled for its 2015 conference in Denver, CO, on October 3-7. More than 280 people gathered from 34 states and two U.S. territories. Their position titles ranged from county director to chief learning officer to trainer. They came to the conference to learn the best practices related to organizational effectiveness, staffdevelopment, evaluation, and distance learning. Most important, they forged relationships and connections that will be parlayed to exponentially improve their agencies and outcomes back at home. Michelle Naples, Strategic Initiatives director at the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services said, "My organization benefits from the enthusiasm, knowledge, resources, contacts, and ideas that I brought back with me. I now have an expanded network of people and organizations to connect and share ideas with as we work to improve training and organizational effectiveness."

Conference participants were enthralled by the keynote speaker, Beth Cohen, and her talk about The Neuroscience of Learning, The Power of Training and Development. Other workshops included The Workforce Development Framework as a Tool for Growing and Retaining Competent Staff, Organizational Climate and Casework Practice, Evidence-Based Curriculum Design and Development, and Excellence in Evaluation, to name just a few of the more than 40 sessions available to participants. The conference closed with a keynote presentation by Greg Sommers, Sharing the Peak Experience, that challenged participants to go back to their agencies and elevate them using all that they had learned and the connections they had made.

Agencies that sponsor their people do so as an investment in growing their agencies. While there is a cost, scholarships are available to participants. The Joan M. Carerra scholarship sponsored conference registration and travel for 20 participants representing 18 states. The Colorado Department of Human Services provided scholarships for an additional 40 participants.

Conference sponsors included Accenture, Northwoods, the Butler Institute for Families, the Child Welfare Information Gateway, and the Colorado Department of Human Services. Their sponsorship showed their investment in supporting and growing human service agencies to improve outcomes.

Award Presentations

NSDTA recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the field. Award winners for 2015 were:

Sheila Blanton, recipient of the Distinguished Service in Training Award. …

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