Meet Renee Hochenberger – Assistant Center Director at Easter Seals Child Development Center of Northern Virginia located in Falls Church, Virginia. As a manager, Renee is always looking for innovative ways to support employees while improving their skills. So when Renee learned about the partnership between Project Pathfinders and Virginia’s Registered Apprenticeship program (RA), she contacted her regional Department of Labor representative to learn how to sign up!
Currently, Renee has one employee, Amanda Barnes, enrolled in the RA program and it has already yielded benefits for Amanda and the center. First, the RA program’s requirement to assign a highly skilled mentor to each apprentice has resulted in the development of a strong coaching relationship between Amanda and a more seasoned teacher. Secondly, thanks to the partnership between Pathfinders and the RA program, the cost of Amanda’s early childhood-related coursework is covered. In addition to these benefits, Renee says she is most excited about using the RA opportunity as a means to reward her teachers with a salary increase. “We need a basis to increase salaries and because the combined apprenticeship and scholarship enable the apprentice to finish school, we have no problem raising her salary.”
Renee is excited to enroll more employees in the program and to maintain career-minded teachers at the center. She says, “the turnover in this industry is hard, and by providing this program and adjustable salary we should be able to hold on to people.”