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The Union Education Trust has been promoting the ease and convenience of its Professional Enhancement program and several members who've already used it agree.
"It was a lot better this time," said Louella Jeter, a customer service assistant 2 at the Ohio Department of Public Safety, explaining that the application process was much quicker than with previous education benefits.
"It went back and forth in the past," she said, expressing the frustration she experienced communicating with the old Workforce Development program. "This time, I didn't have to wait."
Jeter is using her PE benefit for a pre-payment voucher to take an arbitration class in February.
"It brushes you up on your skills," she said of the several-day seminar.
The process went so smoothly, she plans to apply for another PE voucher later in 2007.
"It's more than likely I'll be using it again," Jeter said.
Tanisha Watkins, housing examiner at the Ohio Housing and Finance Agency found the Union Education Trust's online Web site to have all the information she needed for the PE program.
"Everything was online and it wasn't hard to fill out," she said.
Watkins used the PE program to take a one-day class. She's taken classes in the past and this was the next step, she said.
"I really enjoyed the class," she said. "It will definitely come in handy for my career."
She recognized the value of the new PE program: "I really appreciate the union making this benefit available for members. I figured I'd take advantage of it," Watkins said. "I don't want it to go to waste."
The application process went smoothly for James Jones, a surveyor with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Engineering.
"It seemed to be pretty seamless," Jones said. "I didn't have any problems with it."
Jones had had difficulties getting vouchers approved in the past when a similar benefit was offered prior to the Union Education Trust, he said. He is using his PE voucher for a course that will go towards the annual renewal of his surveyor's license.