“PHL picked me! Working at the airport has been an awesome experience. I enjoy working with my peers and leadership,” said Administrative Technician I Latia Hayes. “Everyone I have encountered at the Division of Aviation has been so helpful and cheerful. I have felt welcomed to work at the airport since my first day.”
Hayes has worked in Division of Aviation’s HR Training and Development Unit since 2019. Her department is responsible for assessing, providing, and creating training courses useful for the airport’s employees' growth.
The unit provides opportunities to enhance employees’ knowledge, provide resources for professional development, and support leadership to promote organizational growth. This includes offering new E-learning courses available through the airport’s PHL University online learning system and collaborating with other departments to provide specific training topics for their need, as well as tracking participation in mandatory citywide programs. Training and Development also hosts special employee engagement programs such as Thurs-Yay! Water Cooler Conversations for employees working virtually, the Breast Cancer Awareness Summit, Women & Girls in Transportation Initiative (WITI) Summit, Administrative Professional Program, and the People first Respect Integrity Diversity Excellence (P.R.I.D.E) awards.
Despite challenges presented by COVID-19, the airport’s Training and Development Unit found a way to transition from in-person to online training. “It was a big adjustment, we faced a lot of barriers that could have held us back, but my colleague Ashlee Franklin and I made it work,” said Hayes. “We had to learn the new technologies, and we had to pull in additional resources and ask a lot of people for guidance. But, with our resilience, we can perform efficiently and do things with the training unit that has not been done before.”
The unit measures the impact of its programs from employee feedback. “The most meaningful part of my job is seeing people learning and employees benefitting from our training courses. It’s important our training courses are engaging!” said Hayes. “We work for the betterment of the Division of Aviation and its employees. We strive to provide useful training and appreciate feedback.”
Hayes sees a future for herself in the Division of Aviation and hopes to one-day become an HR manager. “My goal is to continue to perform above expectations,” she said. “Personally, I wish to grow with the organization and be more knowledgeable in my career. I plan on obtaining a certificate in Training and Development by the end of next year.” She also takes advantage of training opportunities to improve her professional working skills. “Public speaking is one skill that I continue to sharpen. I am not shy to talk to people but imagine talking to your peers who you just met or individuals you do not know,” said Hayes. “Especially, speaking in a virtual space, I had to learn some skills to combat my anxiety. This skill is still a work in progress. I am learning to lead in spaces that I have not had to before.”
Affirmations every morning are key for Hayes to start her day on a positive note. “I truly believe that what you put into yourself and into the universe, you will get back,” she said. “I try to put positivity into the world every day, into my friends and family, into strangers. I put positivity and pride into my work.”