Trees bloom outside the County`s Administrative Complex on 9th Street
Trees bloom outside the County`s Administrative Complex on 9th Street

Essentials of Community Board Membership

Certificate Program

Washoe County recognizes the unique role and contribution of County appointed board and commission members to the overall success of our community.  In an effort to provide a better understanding of the functions of County government and enhance community leadership skills, Washoe County added a training opportunity—Essentials of Community Board Membership—to its Excellence In Public Service certificate program in January 2011.  This program is offered by the Washoe County Learning Center in collaboration with Washoe County Community Development, Washoe County Community Relations, Washoe County Human Resources, and UNR Cooperative Extension.  After accruing the required 45 hours of classroom training, participants will be presented with a Certificate of Completion by the Washoe County Commission. 

Certificate awarded to current members of a county commission appointed board or commission for successful completion of the following essential training courses:

Communication Skills: Strengthen or develop your communication skills.  Learn what communication skills are, why they are critical to your personal and professional success and how you can improve these skills. 6 hour class.

Conflict Resolution: This class will provide participants an overview of conflict and strategies for effective conflict resolution.  Learn effective ways to prevent conflict before it starts, how to handle conflict in the workplace and learn tools and guidelines for collaborative conflict resolution.  6 hour class.

Dealing with Challenging Encounters: Learn how to deal with customers or members of the public who may be irate, hostile, verbally abusive, chatty or otherwise disruptive. Discuss and develop strategies for addressing these tense and tricky situations unique to their work environment. 6 hour class.

Healthy Meetings for Board/Commission Members: Learn to how to run a more effective meeting, includes a faux "advisory board" meeting to model methods to efficiently work through basic agenda items, deal with speakers who run over their allotted time limit, how to use a parking lot or bin, keep board members and citizens on topic, and deal with disruptive outbursts from the public and review  basic Open Meeting Law requirements, publishing and posting agendas, and a discussion about meeting minutes and public records. Meeting management techniques include in depth discussions on productive meetings, members as facilitative leaders, and chairing versus facilitating a meeting. 2 1/2 hour class.

Healthy Team Dynamics: This course provides a framework of techniques and competencies that help employees to be more effective in their teams and includes discussion of team roles and group dynamics. Learn the role of team members on a healthy team, how to communicate positively, and how to handle the fast pace of change in today's workplace.  4 hour class.

Meeting on Common Ground: Meeting on Common Ground is designed to highlight the importance of personal responsibility for living the Washoe County Values, implementing the Code of Conduct, the EEOP and Diversity in Action plans. Employees are encouraged to promote a shared and inclusive understanding of diversity.  4 hour class.

Open Meeting Law for Board/Commission Members:  State law requires that meetings of public bodies must be open and public. The Washoe County District Attorney's Office developed the Open Meeting Law training class specifically tailored to answer questions such as: Why have an Open Meeting Law? Why do county boards and commissions have to follow the Open Meeting Law? What is a meeting? What is a quorum? Why notice meetings? What about public comments? What happens if the Open Meeting Law is violated? 1 1/2 hour class.

A total of 15 Hours of training chosen from the following:

Customer Service: This customized session designed just for Washoe County employees will cover Identifying Customer Needs and Expectations, Communicating Positively in Person and on the Telephone, and Working with Difficult Customers.  6 hour class.

Facilitation Skills: Identify critical facilitator competencies and assess their own skills level in these areas, utilize effective communication skills, including listening, questioning, feedback and clarification, successfully achieve meeting/session purpose and desired outcomes, stimulate participant involvement, effectively manage group dynamics and participant behavior, practice facilitation, video-taping and feedback/evaluation. 16 hour class.

Generations - It's All About Values!: Never before have four generations worked side by side in the workplace. Each generation brings its unique views and values to work. This session will offer insights into working through the differences and building a multigenerational workforce. 4 hour class.

Managing Change: This course provides the basis for continuous process improvement by exploring common challenges of change and strategies for positively managing change in the workplace. 4 hour class.

Meeting Management: This course provides practical techniques for planning and facilitating more efficient, productive meetings and will offer an opportunity to practice strategies for managing meeting dynamics, increasing participation and improving problem-solving. 4 hour class.

New Board Member Orientation: Familiarize new CAB members with the CAB Members Handbook, make them aware of basic Open Meeting Law requirements for public bodies, and provide them with meeting management tools. CAB members receive their CAB Members Handbook following completion of NMO training. This class is a cooperative effort between Community Development staff, Community Relations staff, and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.  2 1/2 hour class.

Problem Solving & Decision Making:  Learn a systematic approach to problem-solving and practical decision making tools and techniques that can result in better solutions and outcomes. Tools that will be discussed include: a six-step decision-making model, tools for evaluating alternative solutions, strategies for getting the most out of brainstorming, and tips for managing and communicating the decision. Effective approaches for encouraging team participation and involvement in finding creative solutions to problems will also be addressed.  4 hour class.

Public Workshops hosted by WC Planning Commission or Board of Adjustments: National Association of Counties webinars on Leadership Training. Various Webinars. 1 hour workshops - up to a max of 4 hours.

Current Washoe County employees need to register for classes through the online Washoe County Learning Center accessed through the intranet, EWW, Flipside.  Non-county employees should contact to register for classes.  NOTE: Supervisor approval is required prior to registration.

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