Haines Borough manager David Sosa is ramping up employee training, including instituting interdepartmental field trips, a three-day Supervisor’s Seminar and a training session on the collective bargaining agreement.

Sosa said the borough has started doing weekly “in-house” training prepared and conducted by staff. Part of the training includes touring each department with department heads presenting their “class” and taking other department heads on a tour of their facilities.

“This helps familiarize each department head with their counterpart’s responsibilities and gives them a better perspective of what other departments in the borough do. I see this as an essential professional development responsibility and the department heads seem to appreciate the opportunity to teach and learn from each other,” Sosa said.

“Other than the time invested, there is no cost to the borough,” he added.

Department heads also recently participated in a Collective Bargaining Agreement training session conducted by Local 71 union representative Tom Brice. The session was requested by Brice and was free, Sosa said.

Sosa has scheduled the three-day Supervisor’s Seminar for August. The training concerns “a variety of subjects,” and will be conducted by Mila Cosgrove, the human resources director for the City and Borough of Juneau.

“Other than travel, there will be no cost to the borough as (Cosgrove) has a cottage in Haines,” Sosa said.

Sosa is also looking into web-based training for staff, and courses being reviewed for inclusion in this summer’s training include “Building a Great Workplace: Ethics, Respect and Safety,” “Charting the Course and Staying on It: Strategic Planning, Managing Workflow and Budgeting” and “Social Media for Public Employees.”

Though most of the training has thus far come at minimal cost to the borough, Sosa said spending money on training is an important investment.

“To date the costs have been minimal but they will increase,” Sosa said. “We have incredibly talented and capable employees to care about Haines and want to ensure that they do their best by Haines. This training helps give them every opportunity to serve Haines to the best of their ability and is well worth the current and projected costs.”