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Re-working the Labor Program

Things are changing quickly as improvements are made in BC's labor program. With a new Workplace Development Associate and enhancements to BOND (Berea's Online Neighborhood), the labor program is making important changes to help students keep up with their required hours, create strategic organization within each labor position, and make supervisors and labor data more accessible.

The biggest change came in August, when Darlene Stocker assumed the position of Workplace Development Associate. In this role, Stocker will serve as a primary resource for students and staff in the areas of workplace development, including first-year placement, problem solving and conflict resolution, student intervention, and supervisor support. Stocker will also provide consultation to individuals and groups on labor-related topics.

Newcomer David Slinker joined the Labor Program Office on October 3 in the new position of Training and Assessment Specialist. Slinker will be responsible for the development of training curricula, assessment tools and recognition activities.

In technological updates, BOND introduced a new payroll summary feature last month. This summary allows students to monitor their time after each pay period, helping ensure compliance with college labor requirements. The Labor Program Office is also working closely with IS&S to develop a comprehensive web portal for the Student Labor Program. This portal may include such features as online scheduling and time reporting (including a clock-in / clock-out mechanism); access to work histories; job descriptions; resume programs; online evaluations and job search processes. These items will be brought to the college community for feedback during the development period.

Also, the Labor Program has been working with directors and managers in all divisions to create an organizational chart of labor departments to help identify the many supervision structures that exist across campus. An important component of this effort is the identification of roles played by faculty, staff, and students in the training and supervision of students. The goal is to support a decentralized labor program owned by the labor departments, while at the same time enabling students to better understand the program. Plans are also underway for a new publication to take the place of the current Supervisor's Handbook. Anticipated features of the publication include learning goals and guidelines; department descriptions; supervisor contact information; policies and procedures; calendars; schedules and developmental materials. The publication will contain common information for all staff and students concerning the operation of the Labor Program.

The Labor Forum is also busy preparing a draft assessment tool to present to the campus for feedback. This tool will connect student learning to workplace expectations and present an opportunity for supervisors to evaluate students and for students and supervisors to evaluate the Labor Program. In addition, the Labor Program Office is currently imaging all student files into an electronic database. This process will provide easier access to student data, and preserve labor history for years to come.

For more information contact: Darlene Stocker at Darlene_Stocker@berea.edu.

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