Tuition programs are good investments

| Print |  Email
Archives - September 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008

In the ups and downs of the economic cycle retaining skilled workers remains a constant concern for businesses. Departing employees can take your company knowledge to a competitor across the street, and hiring and training is costly.

Employee retention starts, naturally, with fair pay and benefits. But tuition reimbursement programs for employees are also effective in keeping workers satisfied. These programs vary among types of businesses, but the core purpose is to help employees gain new skills and knowledge that benefits them and, ultimately, the company as a whole.

Even when the flow of business and money slows in a struggling economy, companies say the extra expense of such programs is worth it.  

“It’s one of our more important programs,” says Robyn Benedetti, human resources manager at Reitmeier Mechanical, a contractor of indoor air systems for companies.

The Portland-based company pays for tuition and books of employees and apprentices attending the Northwest College of Construction as long as they keep at least a 3.0 grade point average. “In this trade you have to continually learn,” she says.

Jodi Albin, a human resource specialist for Pacific Continental Bank, credits the tuition reimbursement program for the company’s low turnover rate. The Eugene-headquartered bank pays up to $5,250 annually for the tuition of employees working on a college degree. They also pay for non-degree courses and seminars, such as business or finance classes.

“We encourage everyone to use [the tuition program],” Albin says. “We put a lot of stock into our employees.”

Businesses might fear that it’s money down the drain if employees take their subsidized knowledge and skills elsewhere. But that  “stock” can translate into long-term employee loyalty.

Workers who use the programs tend to stay longer with the company, Albin says.

That bodes well for smaller companies such as Power Equipment Services in Salem.  Paying for employees to take classes in marketing, math or language classes is minimal compared to the time and cost of training new employees, says Kelly Yunker, president of the service division at the technical parts distributing company.

“It’s definitely a long-term investment,” Benedetti says.                   

JASON SHUFFLER


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

4 married couples who work together

The Latest
Thursday, January 22, 2015
IMG 0020BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

They say maintaining a healthy marriage takes work. So does running a business with your spouse.


Read more...

Nuclear fingerprints

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

At Oregon State University, a 21st century version of the bad dream — nuclear terrorism — is alive and well. This winter, the Department of Nuclear Physics and Radiation Health Physics created a new interdisciplinary graduate emphasis in nuclear forensics, a Sherlock Holmes-sounding program that aims to identify how and where confiscated nuclear and radiological materials were created.


Read more...

Money Talks

March 2015
Saturday, February 21, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Will community banks survive the digital age? Three CEOs peer into banking's crystal ball.


Read more...

Help Wanted: Poached Jobs aids restaurateurs

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

“We thought there was room for something new.”


Read more...

Cache and Curry

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Power Lunch at Swagat in Hillsboro.


Read more...

4 winners and losers in the Kitzhaber scandal

The Latest
Thursday, February 12, 2015
021315-govorno-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Examining the governor's rapid fall from grace in a "bizarre" and "unprecedented" saga.


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Tortoise and the Hare

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015

The day after this issue goes to press, the city of Medford will host its annual business conference. The event features Minoli Ratnatunga, co-author of the Milken Institute’s annual “Best-Performing Cities” report. Preliminary data suggests that Medford is likely to retain its No. 1 ranking among best-performing small cities for having a higher concentration of high-tech firms than the national average. 


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS