Skip to content

Professional Development Program

Alliance Announces:
Professional Development Program

Developing Local Talent

Picture of participant reviewing Professional Development class materials

The La Plata County Economic Development Alliance (Alliance) recognizes the unique challenges faced by employers in a rural area to recruit, train and retain qualified employees.  In 2015 the Alliance partnered with professional trainers in the Four Corners area to offer the same high quality training found at Duke University, Denver University, and other leading business schools – here in Durango.

Now in its 5th year, the Professional Development Series addresses the needs of employees at the Supervisor, Manager, and Executive levels, enabling them to grow into better and more advanced leaders within a company. Each of the unique courses in the series uses experiential training techniques to teach pragmatic skills, so that participants are able to use what they learn immediately back at work.  Each course also provides self-awareness and reflection pieces, so that participants are more skillful in the “how” they interact back at work.

The Professional Development Series helps organizations:

  • Increase the ability to effectively promote quality employees,
  • Diminish turnover and recruitment costs,
  • Access quality training without the costs of travel,
  • Enhance productivity by cultivating leadership skills, and
  • Avoid the need to create their own training programs.

The implementation of the local Professional Development Series is the result of interviewing over 100 employers in the Four Corners. The companies indicated the desire for employees to be trained and become proficient in practical and soft skills; such as effective communication, conflict management, decision making, and problem solving.

Former Alliance Executive Director, Roger Zalneraitis, was instrumental in launching this project. Roger commented, “The Professional Development Series brings critical leadership skills to emerging leaders from the front line to the executive level, which helps companies promote their own workers more effectively. This helps teams and firms be more productive, and reduces time and money spent on recruiting new employees into the region.”

Ellen Babers, Mountain Mesa Training Chief Instigator and course facilitator added, “Fostering and enhancing our local workforce is invaluable. These programs allow companies of all sizes in the Four Corners to provide managerial and leadership skills to key employees, to better promote from within. A strong talent base makes for a happy business, content employees and a healthy community.”

Detailed information about the program (curriculum, dates, costs, and registration) is available at the Mountain Mesa Training website:

For more information about the La Plata County Economic Development Alliance call 970-259-1700 or email  .

2019 PDP Influential Manager
2019 PDP Step up to Supervisor
2019 PDP Executive Leader Program