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Thread: Professional development cuts

  1. #1
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    Professional development cuts

    What kind of cuts have people seen to their professional development budgets? We were told no conferences that require a fee this year and I just got some pushback from my boss when I asked about mileage reimbursement for a free conference at a location about 50 miles away (actually 70 miles away from where I live, but 50 miles from work).

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MacheteJames View post
    What kind of cuts have people seen to their professional development budgets? We were told no conferences that require a fee this year and I just got some pushback from my boss when I asked about mileage reimbursement for a free conference at a location about 50 miles away (actually 70 miles away from where I live, but 50 miles from work).
    No conferences for us either, and we have to watch our reimbursable expenses. Our group's pay has already been slashed by 20% with mandatory furloughs one day a week (a day of our choosing..whoopie).
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  3. #3
    Cyburbian azmodela's avatar
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    Professional development budget!? We're lucky to have a department budget! We're pretty much on our own for everything, it's been this way for a little over a year. No one is complaining though, it's the difference between a job and unemployment.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    My firm still does a lot of networking through professional development, which may lead to additional contracts. I also serve on a committee in my State APA Chapter, so I am pretty busy with that. My firm just finished a big trade show for the parks and rec. association. The National ASLA Conference is in Chicago this year, so the firm will be busy with that. I am also volunteering for the Regional APA Conference this fall. I also do networking events each month through workshops, training sessions,etc.

    Even though we all took a 20% cut, they haven't made us cough up money for personal expenses, travel, or workshops, although that could easily be next. I have always been reimbursed for these. If they make any more cutbacks, I will simply give up networking. I took the initiative and started networking like crazy for the firm 3 1/2 years ago, long before this current mess. Fortunately I have 2 years to meet half of my CM credits for AICP for the 2 years cycle which ends at the end of 2011, so I might just wait with that until I'm in a new job.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    This year is likely to have the worst turnout for APA national in recent history.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    What is this Professional development budget that you speak of ?
    Oddball
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    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
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  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
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    I lost 5% of my budget and took it all from Professional Development.
    Satellite City Enabler

  8. #8
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm....

    We earmarked +10% of our land use permit fees be set aside for continuing education and travel, tuition and seminar costs. It is for this reason that we are the only department still able to attend such events. This doesn't mean anyone is going to APA national or any out of state seminar/conference. It does mean that our building inspectors, code enforcement officers and planners can still attend required events.
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  9. #9
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    This year is likely to have the worst turnout for APA national in recent history.
    I was a student member for 3 years before I graduated my bachelor's degree. I forgot to re-enroll for my 5th and final year of school. I started my full-time planning job early last year. I was looking into the conference this year and I called and they said I wasn't a "new professional" because I wasn't a member my last year of school.

    We can't afford the whole fee but we could do the "new professional" fee. I've been here just over one year and they say I'm not a "new professional". It's like they are happy to turn people away.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    As a sidenote, one of the organizations I am a member of has decided to reduce dues and fees for its members who have become unemployed. Another has had a long-standing nominal membership fee for people between jobs. So maybe APA will consider the same...

    just kidding - that will never happen.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    I'm feeling spoiled. 20% of the budget out is huge, we only had to cut 6%, and we took it mostly from professional services. I have to confess that although I've been a planner for a while I've never gone to the national APA conference, so I'm not feeling deprived but maybe I don't know what I'm missing.....

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Nothing out of state this year. They are not giving approval for anything right now.

    I agree better to do that than no work. Next year I will have to do at least one out of state for CFM. So we will just have to bite the bullet.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  13. #13
    My staff and I will get one conference each this budget cycle. Mine will be national, and I will be paying for the twins game, the tour and the prayer breakfast out of my own pocket.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Travel & Training budget this year has been axed, except those who need to retain certifications. No out-of-state travel and you have to be creative to find continuing ed courses. I'm 7 CM credits away onthe AICP deal which I can hopefully pick up (but mostly at our state APA conf with no overnight stay).
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    Travel curtailed. Must be approved by City Manager even if budgeted. Obviously no APA national--but the twin cities in april doesn't really fire me up (no offense).

    Next year will be worse. Bill out of committee in the SC Legislature would cut by 40% money localities reviceive from state.

    Huge budget impact.

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