Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Teresa Healy


This research paper seeks to explore leadership capacity of Civil Service employees whose job it is to develop young adults with job skills and positive life changes within the framework of a modern-day workforce development program serving industry needs within environmental conservation work. The purpose of this study is to identify gaps in training and program functions so that recommendations could be made towards increasing leadership capacity of Civil Service employees as well as program development. The use of both feminist and institutional cultural theories informs the philosophical framework of this paper. These help to explain the case study’s hierarchical organizational structure that drives decision-making processes. A program evaluation design is used to analyze three different sets of data collected from surveys administered to program staff and sponsors between 2016 and 2017. I conducted a thematic analysis of recurring themes in these data sets. The findings identify a lack of individual support for program participants during their first two months in the program, and the need to enhance training for Civil Service employees to include mentorship ‘soft skills’ encompassing subjects such as career development and pathways, working with disabilities, and overcoming drug and alcohol addictions. It is the responsibility of management to address this critical program deficiency if they are serious about upholding an equitable program mission of putting people on a path to making positive life changes and becoming productive members of society.


Place and Environment | Service Learning | Work, Economy and Organizations


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