The San Juan Daily Star
UPR, OATRH ally for professionalization training
By The Star Staff
Zahira A. Maldonado Molina, the director of the central government’s Office of Administration and Transformation of Human Resources (OATRH by its Spanish initials), has signed an agreement with University of Puerto Rico (UPR) President Luis A. Ferrao to continue the professionalization of executive branch public servants, an initiative that is expected to generate millions of dollars for the financially ailing university.
The OATRH has maintained an alliance with UPR called ALI-UPR to educate and train public servants in various areas, resulting in better quality services. Currently, the trainings are offered online and in face-to-face mode, through the 11 UPR campuses. The collaborative agreement is in compliance with the public policy of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia regarding education and training for government employees.
“For the OATRH, the training and professional education of our public servants is a priority. Our objective is that public employees have access to the necessary tools to perform their tasks more efficiently,” Maldonado Molina said. “At OATRH we are in the best position to share ideas with Dr. Ferrao, president of our primary teaching center, to discuss new projects that positively impact the education and training of public servants in Puerto Rico.”
Ferrao said the agreement “represents a great opportunity for the university to be able to offer direct service to government employees and, in turn, allows us to gather new sources of income for services rendered.”
“As the [island’s] main educational center, and in keeping with our mission, we have a social responsibility to offer diverse educational services aimed at developing skills and professional learning for the citizens of Puerto Rico,” Ferrao said. “The UPR is characterized by promoting excellence in teaching, for which the training is offered with high quality standards. Through strategic alliances, such as the one we have developed with the OATRH, we make the best educational resources available to public servants in the country, which results in better services for citizens.”
Josué Hernández Álvarez, vice president of the professional and distance programs at UPR, said more than 47,000 public servants distributed through the 11 units of the UPR system will benefit.
“We have also generated more than $16 million in revenue,” he said. “For the semester from August to December, UPR has more than 350 course offerings available, which include, but are not limited to, continuing education for lawyers and professional relations professionals; in addition, we have training in sign language, project management, customer service , leadership, conflict management, drone piloting and keyboard skills, among others.”
“It is an alliance that promotes benefits for both parties, but above all for Puerto Rico,” Ferrao said.
He noted that the offering of services under the partnership has been possible thanks to the continuous allocation of funds by the island government to enable the UPR to offer training services and technical assistance to various government entities.
“Certainly, public service is more than a job; it is a vocation, it is a commitment, it is dedication to the citizens who expect to receive quality, sensitivity, efficiency and professionalism from us,” Maldonado Molina said. “Training is one of the areas essential to the principle of merit and is of vital importance for the improvement and professionalization of public employees. The OATRH and the UPR will continue to work together in the training of our most valuable resource, which are the public servants of Puerto Rico.”
The OATRH coordinates the ALI-UPR training through its Institute for Training and Professionalization of Government Employees of Puerto Rico. For more details on the services offered by the agency, the public can access oatrh.pr.gov.
Maldonado Molina called on human resources directors to promote the training available to strengthen the skills of executive branch public servants.