YEON Achieve

Umatilla County commissioners Bill Elfering, left, and John Shafer along with Susan Bower of Eastern Oregon Business Source accepted an achievement award July 14 at the National Association of Counties annual conference in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS — Representatives from Umatilla County recently returned from Las Vegas with an achievement award from the National Association of Counties.

The award, which was announced in June, was for the county’s professional development program. Umatilla County commissioners Bill Elfering and John Shafer along with Susan Bower of Eastern Oregon Business Source accepted the award during the July 14 awards luncheon at NACo’s annual conference in Las Vegas. Bower was the program consultant for the project.

The county launched its professional development program in the spring of 2014. It features leadership development, succession planning and employee engagement. The program encourages employees to focus on their own personal professional growth.

“A strong program of professional development is the foundation upon which an exceptional organization is built,” said commissioner George Murdock. “Helping staff members build their skills is not only an important contribution to their current job, but also helps prepare them to take on additional responsibilities as our organization moves forward.”

According to data provided by Eastern Oregon Business Source, more than 95% of those employed by Umatilla County participated in the program in 2018. Results from the program’s implementation include a quicker ability to fill open positions with highly skilled candidates, more internal promotions to management positions, dedicated training and coaching for aspiring supervisors and new managers, and increased quality and quantity of applicants for open positions.

For more information about the program, contact Murdock at

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