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What’s New in the Gemstone Logistics Education Program in 2020

Although we tend to think of technology as self-sufficient, it relies heavily on the people creating, maintaining, and operating it.

People are the driving force behind technology. They’re also (arguably) the most essential resource in any business. That’s why investments in people are just as important as our investments in technology. At Gemstone Logistics, we invest in our team regularly through our education program.

Why Investing in People is Important to Us

The human resources philosophy at Gemstone Logistics has always been based on opportunity and potential. Skills are important, but skills can be learned. We believe in giving people the tools and knowledge they need for success, rather than simply expecting it. We choose to hire based on traits like motivation, teamwork, and an openness to learning.

This is where the Gemstone Logistics Education Program comes into play. We invest in training for our employees and managers on a regular basis by offering them financial assistance for their educational pursuits. There aren’t any hard and fast rules in the program; requests are approved on a case-by-case basis. Any employee can put in a request for a course, seminar, conference, or even to continue their post-secondary education. Or, if we spot a course or conference we think someone on the team could benefit from, we let them know and make it happen.

It’s not all about technology-based learning, either. Leadership, communication, sales, marketing, and other essential skills are all considered under the education program.

We credit the education program as one of the top reasons for our employee retention rates, which are especially high for the tech industry. According to many studies, career development is one of the best ways to keep great employees working hard in your business. Although we invest in a person’s abilities so they can achieve more (even elsewhere in the industry), they tend to want to stay because they know we’re committed to their personal and professional success.

A few Gemstone Logistics team members have already used the education program in 2020 to expand their skills.

Justin – Angular Conference for Front-End Web Development

Gemstone Logistics was fortunate to add Justin to the team when we acquired Orissa Software, the company that originally developed our CampWare product. Over the past year, he’s been leading the team responsible for bringing CampWare from its original desktop version to an online application. In particular, Justin handles the user experience portion of the software. His educational background in video game design and programming helps him create intuitive interfaces that require less training and support for end-users of CampWare.

It’s no surprise that the ng-conf conference was on Justin’s radar for April 2020. He submitted the idea and was given the green light. Gemstone Logistics committed to covering the cost of the ticket, as well as his travel expenses. He was excited to attend his first-ever conference and grateful because he knew his managers thought he was worth the investment.

At the conference, Justin expanded his knowledge about Angular coding. In Angular, you break down code into smaller components, rather than coding in one big line. This results in numerous benefits. It makes editing the code easier and ensures better readability for team members and other coders who are involved in the project. It can also lead to a better overall front-end user experience.

Of course, ng-conf didn’t go exactly as planned this year. Physical distancing due to COVID-19 meant the in-person conference in Salt Lake City was cancelled. Instead, it was held virtually. Justin says the speakers were extremely creative, theming their presentations around everything from Disney’s Frozen to the wonderful world of wizardry. One presentation that stood out was led by an 11-year-old who uses a particular framework and application for Angular. Justin says his knowledge base was impressive, especially for his age.

Although the conference moved online this year, the good news for Justin is that he’ll still get the chance to attend in-person in 2021.

Rhys – Continuing Education at NAIT

Rhys is a business analyst with Gemstone Logistics. He facilitates product development framework, bridging communications and data analysis between project owners and development teams to make sure we’re creating the best possible solutions. Rhys took a short break from Gemstone a few years ago to work as a consultant, but found it wasn’t as hands-on or people-focused as he preferred, so he rejoined the team and has been with us ever since.

Before landing at Gemstone Logistics, Rhys came out of NAIT with his CST diploma (now known as DMIT). He always intended to go back to complete a full Bachelor of Technology degree, but he was eager to get some field experience under his belt after the initial two-year program. Unfortunately, once you’re locked into a full-time position you don’t want to leave, it’s hard to return to school.

Luckily, Rhys didn’t have to make that choice. He’s been able to go back to NAIT to finish his degree, starting in the January 2020 semester, with the help of Gemstone’s education program.

It’s no walk in the park: Rhys balances full-time school with full-time work at Gemstone Logistics. But he says it will be worth it to achieve the full degree because he’ll be in a better place to develop his career – especially for someone who’s still so young in the industry.

Rhys’ classes and work at Gemstone have moved online for now to help everyone stay healthy, but he’s glad to be busy during this unusual time.

Learn More About Employee Programs at Gemstone Logistics

Gemstone Logistics’ software solutions help our clients take care of the people they depend on to get things done. It only makes sense that we’d be doing the same behind the scenes. In addition to our education program, we also offer other perks and resources to our staff to make sure they’re set up for success.

If you’d like to learn more about our employee programs or apply for a position with Gemstone Logistics, get in touch with our management team.

Kaitlin is the Manager of Software & HR, and prides herself on her keen problem solving abilities. She is dedicated to finding the most efficient and streamlined solution in all aspects of her life whether it’s finding the best way to see the most in Europe, or working through a complex implementation strategy – she is up to whatever challenge comes her way!