Dynamic duos to emerge through new mentoring program

Public Affairs Specialist
Published Jan. 6, 2016
SAVANNAH, Ga. – A new cooperative for this year’s Leadership Development Program (LDP) will pair candidates with thriving professionals for the district’s upcoming Mentorship Program launching in late January.
The program aims to foster symbiotic relationships that encourage fluid two-way communication, constructive feedback, creativity and practical leadership immersion, said Kele Owens, a workforce management specialist.
Budding leaders and seasoned professionals will collaborate to transcend traditional classroom curricula covered throughout the eight-month LDP course. Candidates will select from a pool of 12 mentors who possess proven leadership skills, strong character, and a high level of professional expertise, said Owens.
“Our main objective is to allow mentors to share tacit knowledge and experience that will help individuals achieve their full potential,” said Owens. “We want [mentors] to provide constructive feedback, motivate individuals to think outside the box, and dedicate attention to honing the district’s future leaders,” said Owens.
Following several years of expressed demand for a mentorship program, the workforce development team launches the inaugural phase with LDP candidates. The program’s success, pending participant evaluation of its effectiveness, will potentially expand into a district-wide program.
“Not only will this phase serve as the venue for seeking mentors and mentees, it will also potentially serve as the introduction to a more formal program for the Savannah District,” said Owens. “It will be open to all individuals on a voluntary basis with the intent to facilitate individual performance, leadership, interpersonal and technical skills, as well as enhance retention, morale, career progression, and personal and professional development.”
Beyond professional leadership immersion and cross-sectional learning, Owens said she hopes the program opens a space to also nurture personal maturation.
“We hope to strengthen [protégés’] self-confidence, trust and self-worth in the organization,” said Owens. “Through this program we can develop a stronger workforce and foster a learning organization that will continually grow one another.”
District professionals from all career levels are encouraged to apply to provide a diversified pool of mentors for selection. The mentor application can be accessed here and returned to Kele Owens by Jan. 8.