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

Emperor of the Sea

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan

Pacific Seafood, one of the world’s largest processors, is rebranding as a more transparent and consumer-friendly operation. A controversial CEO and monopoly accusations from coastal fishermen complicate the tale.


Read more...

Beneath the Surface

May 2015
Thursday, April 23, 2015
0515-goodhacker01 250pxwBY LINDA BAKER

On April 1 I attended a forum at the University of Portland on the sharing economy. The event featured panelists from Lyft and Airbnb, as well as Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. Asked about the impact of tech-driven sharing economy services. Hales said the new business models are reshaping the landscape. “But,” he added, “I don’t pretend to understand how a lot of this [technology] works.” 


Read more...

On the Road

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

My daughter turned 18 last week, and for her birthday I got her a Car2Go membership. Not to label myself a disruptor or anything, but it felt like a groundbreaking moment. The two of us, mother and child, were participating in a new teen rite of passage: Instead of handing over the car keys, I handed over a car-sharing card — with the caveat that she not use the gift as her own personal car service.


Read more...

Celestial Eats

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER AND EILEEN GARVIN

A power lunch at Solstice Wood Fire Cafe & Bar.


Read more...

Bike Chic: 7 stylish options for cyclists

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cycling to work is all the rage. But not everyone wants to arrive at the office messy, sweaty — and unfashionable.


Read more...

Foundations perspective

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Martha Richards, executive director of the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation.


Read more...

6 fun facts about the Amtrak Cascades route

The Latest
Friday, May 22, 2015
thumb3BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The recent tragedy in Philadelphia has called attention to Amtrak and the nation's woefully underfunded rail service. Here are six facts about the Cascades corridor between Eugene and Vancouver B.C. 


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