Posted by | CDS


by Dana McConnell, CDS Executive Director

One of the greatest gifts in life is a good education. A strong foundation of language, math, science, and history is the basis for getting a job, becoming financially independent, and contributing to the community. This gift opens up a world of opportunities and possibilities.

But it shouldn’t stop there. Once in the workforce, professional development courses provide on-going training and fine tuning of soft skills that are needed in everyday life. These courses are often very rewarding, although difficult, because they challenge the way we think, manage, and communicate with others. In a nutshell, they help us to grow.

Over the past few years, CDS has encouraged our employees to participate in personal development opportunities. As our team continues to gain valuable knowledge, we are able to strengthen our overall quality of service to the community, our partners, and the families we serve.

The Upstate is home to some incredible programs, both in the for-profit and the non-profit sectors:

  • Shine the Light offers four half-day leadership development seminars each year to area non-profits and their board members.
  • The Greenville Chamber of Commerce has Leadership Greenville, Friday Forums, Net Night, PULSE, the Non-Profit Alliance, and Intercommunity Leadership Visits, to name just a few.
  • SCANPO organizes a wonderful 3-day conference each year with over 50 breakout sessions ranging from board development to grant writing.
  • The Furman University Riley Institute DLI program invites participants into a dialog about diversity, understanding the root cause of our own biases, and appreciating our differences.
  • The Rotary Club offers an annual seminar on peace and conflict resolution, which is very timely amidst our current political and cultural strife.
  • Ten at the Top provides several forums where our Upstate communities can connect and learn from each other.

Personal development is something we value at CDS. It does require a commitment of company time and resources, but the investment is worth it.  In return, we see increased confidence in the staff, we celebrate each other’s achievements, and we seek more opportunities that challenge us.  This is the power of education. Never stop learning.