Illinois Department of Transportation, Ann L. Schneider, Secretary
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Overview of Management Leadership Training Programs
Conducted by the Bureau of Personnel Management
Training and Education Development

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) provides a wide array of leadership development opportunities for various levels of its employees. The opportunities provide essential leadership skills to employees throughout different phases of their careers. Seminars are designed to use IDOT-related information and situations in learning new skills. Participants learn by sharing their knowledge, concerns and experiences with peers, while working in small groups. Training is a solid investment in the department's greatest resource – our employees.

Department training currently consists of five (5) management leadership training programs. Four (4) of the programs are targeted for prescribed levels of employees and enrollment is restricted to those nominated and selected by senior staff. Participants in the targeted programs attend all modules scheduled within their specific program together. The fifth training program is open to all IDOT and other state department personnel with approval of their supervisor.

Accelerated Leadership Proficiency Series (ALPS)
ALPS is a targeted program designed to develop and improve the managerial skills and organizational knowledge of first-line supervisors and staff who have significant program responsibilities. The program explores supervisory functions and teaches new methods of dealing with peers and subordinates. This skill-based training ensures that participants learn to work in teams, motivate subordinates, improve productivity and enhance communication. The program allows participants to analyze case studies and network among themselves to better understand other organizational units and the department’s overall mission. Participants attend seminars every other month over a two (2) year period and are required to meet their regular work assignments while in the program.

The ALPS program is open to employees in Technical Pay Grades 10 through 15 and in Merit Compensation Pay Grades MC08 through MC11 who either hold a supervisory position or have significant program responsibilities. CE IV’s who did not attend the PACE program are also eligible for ALPS.


Executive Leadership Development Series (ELDS)
ELDS is a targeted program designed to refine the management skills of mid-level personnel and prepare them for increased administrative challenges. Participants learn to direct staff and delegate responsibility, resolve conflict, promote organizational performance, utilize team building practices, implement personnel policies, improve leadership techniques, and enhance communication skills. ELDS seminars are IDOT-relevant and have been identified as improving the critical skills necessary for middle managers to achieve optimal performance. The seminars enable participants to exchange experiences, ideas, and information. Participants attend quarterly seminars over two (2) years, and are required to meet their regular work assignments while in the program.

The ELDS program is open to CE/TM levels V through VII, other comparable titles in Technical Pay Grades 16 through 19 and some Merit Compensation titles.


Professional Advancement of Career Engineers (PACE)
PACE is a targeted program with a commitment to public engineering excellence for it strengthens the skills of engineers in performing more effectively. PACE provides leadership development for lower level civil and electrical engineers and broadens their understanding of the department and public sector responsibilities. Participants share work-related concerns and solutions in completing group assignments that build skills in communication, interpersonal relations, and leadership. Participants attend monthly seminars for approximately nine (9) months and are required to meet their regular work assignments while in the program.

The PACE program is open to Civil or Electrical Engineers in Levels II and III with more than two (2) but less than seven (7) years of full-time IDOT work or engineering experience.


Supervisor Training and Readiness Series (STARS)
STARS is a targeted “nuts and bolts” program that provides developmental training as well as the tools and resources necessary to ready new supervisors for the responsibilities and challenges they may face in their new role. Participants complete a series of learning experiences that broaden their understanding of the supervisor’s role and department policies, procedures and responsibilities. Participants network by sharing their work-related concerns as well as developing solutions to IDOT case study exercises. The training is designed to use teams for the purpose of developing a consensus of the role and responsibility of an IDOT supervisor. Emphasis is placed on building participant skills in three major areas: 1) Internal policy/procedure responsibility; 2) leadership; and 3) interpersonal relations. Participants attend seminars every other month over a two (2) year period and are required to meet their regular work assignments while in the program.

STARS is designed for employees in technical, professional, and other comparable titles who have assumed a first-time supervisor role within two years of nomination for this program. Preference will be given to permanently assigned supervisors. “Supervisor” for the purpose of eligibility, is defined as a first-line manager with one or more direct-line permanent subordinate personnel.


Growth and Training of Employees (GATE)
The GATE program provides seminars directed at both personal growth and leadership techniques which help develop skills to increase employee competence. Participants learn how to work in diverse groups, improve productivity, increase communication skills, and understand IDOT departmental policies and regulations. GATE training establishes a more professional work environment, improves productivity, and is IDOT-relevant to ensure that our workforce projects a more professional public image.

GATE seminars are conducted in half day and full day sessions and are open to IDOT and other state department personnel with approval of their supervisor. Seminars are scheduled at various times throughout the year and may be held in multiple locations throughout the state.


Management Leadership Training Programs are administered by the Employee Services Section of the Bureau of Personnel Management. The length and content of each seminar varies to meet specific training requirements. Each program’s training schedule attempts to minimize work disruptions or time away from normal responsibilities. Seminars are facilitated by consultants, training staff or in-house Cadre instructors. Cadre instructors are IDOT employees who function as certified part-time trainers. Their vast range of experience and knowledge makes each seminar diverse and unique, informative, economical, and work related. All seminar registrations and recordkeeping are tracked via the Learning Management System (LMS).

Training seminars allow employees to discuss common concerns, share ideas and to accomplish work with a renewed spirit based upon improved skills. It improves the collective work environment, bolsters individual morale and productivity, and meets the long- and short-term training needs for most employees. Training contributes to the IDOT tradition of functioning as a professional and effective public agency in an ever increasingly complex work environment. This commitment to employee excellence through leadership development should well serve IDOT far into the 21st century.

Questions

Questions concerning any of the services or training administered by the Bureau of Personnel Management, Employee Services Section, can be emailed to: DOT.CO.ES.Training@illinois.gov.
 

 

 

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