|Last week I had the pleasure of attending the kickoff session of the 2008-2009 DHS Leadership Academy. I'm always pleased to see so many talented and dedicated individuals taking part in this annual series of courses. The event also reminded me how important it is for DHS to develop leadership skills among all our employees.
Members of the Leadership Academy class of 2008 at their "graduation."
The Leadership Academy is an important component of building the kind of culture we want to create within DHS - one that promotes excellence, strives to achieve the best outcomes and appeals to the best employees as a great place to work. It offers participants the opportunity for personal and professional growth through exposure to new skills and ideas, gives participants an opportunity to practice leadership skills, and helps develop the bench strength needed for succession planning within the agency.
And beyond the experiences provided in the academy, we continue to offer additional opportunities for developing leadership qualities among all employees. Everyone who has participated in a group effort to improve a work-related process has practiced and strengthened their leadership skills. And everyone who has participated in our cultural competency course has increased their understanding of how to better serve our diverse clients.
I am committed to making DHS an organization where people's voices are heard and respected, where people have the skills and knowledge they need to advance, and where we build the foundation for an inclusive culture that focuses on excellence. To do this we must continue to offer employees the opportunities they need to develop leadership and communication skills. The more people who can contribute ideas to a solution, the better the results will be.
We also need to prepare for the large number of retirements expected during the next few years by giving our employees the skills and knowledge they will need to step into new roles and continue the good work done by DHS. To do this, it is important that we strengthen each and every employee's ability to lead and participate in making DHS a better service provider.
Giving our staff the opportunities they need to grow and advance will help us not only develop the organizational culture we need to succeed, it also will benefit our many clients and customers who depend on us for essential services.
As always, I am impressed by the talent that lies within DHS. Our employees hold a diverse array of skills and abilities, and a strong sense of dedication to the work we do. I am very proud to be part of such an impressive organization, and I look forward to seeing even greater achievements ahead.