By Cassie McClure
Published in Las Cruces Bulletin 12.17.2021
There are many parts to Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) for new employees to learn. LCU uses an adapted version of the City of Las Cruces (City) Learning Management System (LMS) for onboarding and learning the basics. But to encourage employees to soar beyond the basics, LCU employees use the LMS for continued professional development in their position, and other areas within the LCU if they catch a spark.
“We want to engage employees to move up the ladder if they express interest,” said LCU Business System Analyst Jeff Dillard. “The LMS allows not only for yearly mandatory trainings – like OSHA or cyber security trainings – but allows for employees to dive into other interests like analytics and project management.”
Dillard explained that regular training gives employees a clear sense of their position, at all levels. “Our trainings tie into the mission of the entire organization by reinforcing the key measures for all of LCU’s strategic performance goals,” he said.
The LMS is modular and self-paced; employees can take time with the approval of their supervisor to work on becoming credentialed on the next levels of their current positions.
“Coming from outside employment to the City, I had to learn different vocabulary and working tasks that the City used that I have never done before,” said LCU Office Assistant Senior Jazmine Benavidez, who started at LCU as a temporary employee and credits the LMS to becoming a full-time employee. “If I had a question about what I saw in the training and needed further explanation, I could go to my supervisor with a good understanding of the subject, meaning that it took less time to fully train me.”
Dillard said that the LMS allows employees to investigate cross-training that might be needed to jump into something different. “Maybe an employee found that by assisting folks in the Water Operations and Maintenance line of business, they’ve found an interest in their work,” said Dillard. “The employee works toward cross-training for a new opportunity and feels more confident in applying when a job in that area opens up.”
LCU Dispatcher Josh Moreno found an interest in pulling together what he’s learned in different areas. He’s held positions in gas, water, dispatch and now is learning more about analytics.
“I’ve always had a natural curiosity,” said Moreno. “By seeing how areas work together, I can use agile management ideas to see how we can create new processes for better efficiencies for those working in the field.”
LCU Customer Central can be reached at 575-541-2111 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides clean, safe, and reliable services to Las Cruces residents and businesses. Learn more at: las-cruces.org/180/Utilities For emergencies, call Dispatch at 526-0500.
PHOTO 1: LCU Dispatcher Josh Moreno works on new projects thanks to the training he’s received on the job at LCU.