Sacramento – Today the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in cooperation with Sacramento State begins an innovative series of continuing education classes to train CDCR staff to become future leaders of the department. This is the first of a three-stage leadership training and succession strategy to assure that public safety and reforms continue uninterrupted into the next decade.
“With the large number of retirements expected, this department has an obligation to begin training the leaders of tomorrow – today,” said CDCR Secretary Roderick Q. Hickman. “We know those best and brightest are out there – in the institutions and in the offices statewide – providing a high level of public safety and public service. This program will get them ready to assume leadership opportunities available today – and maintain the necessary momentum for all classes and ranges of CDCR employees to participate in continuing education.”
The CDCR Leadership Development Program closely models an innovative and successful program that Caltrans has used these past five years. However, an unusually high number of retiring high level managers has created opportunities for upward mobility for a number of CDCR employees. This Leadership Development Program will give those employees the necessary skills to assume these available positions.
While the present program will cultivate middle and upper level managers first for the leadership positions, the idea behind the multi-stage succession planning is to insure that eventually all CDCR employees, whether they are correctional officers, budget analysts, health care workers, or rehabilitative services employees – will have the opportunity to change and grow and contribute to the necessary reforms that CDCR must make to meet the challenges ahead.
“This partnership is a natural extension of Sacramento State’s role in educating the state’s future leaders,” says University President Alexander Gonzalez. “Our location in the state capital makes us ideally positioned to help meet the current and future needs of the state government and its employees.”
The program – which will be offered through the University’s College of Continuing Education – is designed to address the fast-approaching retirement of the majority of state agency managers and leaders. Agencies such as Caltrans and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, two of the largest departments in state government, face an urgent need for a succession plan that takes into account available time, money, and resources. By partnering with the already-established leadership programs of the College of Continuing Education, those resources can be stretched much further.
Caltrans began partnering with Sac State on leadership development five years ago, resulting in nearly 500 graduates to meet their retirement and hiring needs. The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation begins its own partnership with Sacramento State on Jan. 11 to start to train and replace an estimated 1,500 retiring correctional employees each year for the next three years.
“One of the major organizational goals for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is workforce excellence,” CDCR Secretary Roderick Q. Hickman said. “Our success depends on our ability to attract, train, develop, and retain a qualified workforce. The partnership with Sac State and Caltrans puts us on track to attain that goal and ensure that we’ll have qualified employees that will be well equipped in meeting the demands of the corrections profession.”