More About the Texas Association of School Boards

By Julie Britt Jul 1, 2004
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HR Magazine, July 2004Employee Development That Makes the Grade

When it comes to employee development, workers give the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) good grades.

"We are constantly developing new skills and honing current abilities through training and education," says Todd Holt, division director of claims administration and a nine-year TASB veteran. Holt, who joined TASB as the training manager, has been promoted three times. "I guess you could say I can't seem to hold down a job at TASB," he quips. Apparently, neither can anyone else in this organization.

Janie Andrada, an administrative secretary, was a receptionist at TASB for five years before moving into her current position two years ago. Jennifer Reck, currently the assistant general counsel, worked as a temporary employee at TASB for a few months before joining the general counsel's office nearly three years ago. And executive director James B. Crow worked as a lobbyist before reaching his current position eight years ago.

The ability to grow also aided the development of Nancy Cotton, associate executive director for planning and HR; Cotton joined TASB as a graduate student. "What TASB did for me personally," she says, "was to believe in me, my abilities, and my capacity to learn and grow."


An Appreciation for HR

HR is a valuable resource at TASB, says Janie Andrada, an administrative secretary. "HR is always available for anything we need," she says.

Todd Holt, division director of claims administration and a nine-year TASB veteran, agrees. "HR has a very difficult role," he says. "The professional manner in which they go about their job is amazing. I have seen these people altruistically rally around an employee who is having financial difficulty … and then turn right around and assist a manager...with another employee who has performance issues."

Krista Fergason, R.N., who has worked as risk management director of medical benefits at TASB for seven years, says, "HR is always looking for 'added benefits' to provide to employees and make it easier for them while at work." For example, HR has brought in vendors to do oil changes, has arranged for dry-cleaning services and has added an on-site automated teller machine.

"TASB has a caring and creative HR group," says executive director James B. Crow. "They do an outstanding job of administering the compliance side of the HR business while being always mindful of the human side."


TASB Spreads the Word About On-Site Child Care

TASB established The Corner School, one of the first employer-sponsored child care programs in Central Texas, in 1987 to serve TASB employees, but children from the community may enroll on a space-available basis, says Janice Esau, director of TASB Child Care Solutions.

The school, which has 15 employees, is licensed to care for 60 children; currently, some 35 TASB children attend. Community members may be asked to give up their space (with 60 days' notice) if a TASB employee needs child care, Esau says.

The Corner School is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a distinction achieved by only 4 percent of the licensed child care centers in Texas, Esau says.

In addition to The Corner School's day care services, the organization operates Club TASB and Camp TASB for school-age children up to sixth grade. Club TASB is in session whenever the area school districts are on holiday; Camp TASB is a 10-week summer camp program. Both programs employ temporary staff, Esau says. On average, Club TASB serves 10 to 12 children per school holiday, and Camp TASB serves 36 children per day during the summer.

On-site child care increases employee retention, aids recruiting, reduces absenteeism and improves job satisfaction, Esau says. "Surveys of 'nonusers' also indicate high levels of satisfaction with the effects the child care service has on the general work climate at TASB," she adds.

The program has worked so well for TASB that the organization has begun to provide consulting services to Texas school districts that are exploring on-site child care for their employees. "Our services include in-district consulting, training and workshops for district employees, school board presentations, implementation of employee needs assessments to identify child care concerns, and assistance with program planning if a district decides to open a child care center," she says.

TASB also provides support services to school districts that already offer on-site child care, including program review, staff training and assistance with writing handbooks.

"Currently, about 10 percent of Texas school districts offer child care to their employees," Esau says.

TASB Child Care Solutions occasionally provides consulting services to local businesses that are interested in offering child care to employees, she says. "Businesses, as well as area universities, frequently visit The Corner School when they need or want to see a high-quality early childhood program," she says.

For more information about Child Care Solutions' services and staff, as well as details about employers' options, the benefits of on-site child care and requirements for licensed child care facilities, visit www.tasb.org/products_services/child_care.

—Julie Britt

Web Extras

SHRM  articles:

2004 Great Places to Work Home Page
(HR Magazine)

Great Companies, Inspired Employees
(HR Magazine - feature article)

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