L&I workers get Penn training

Say what you want about Philadelphia's Department of Licenses and Inspections - and there is a lot to say  - but the department has never been one to fear breaking out of the box.

Last year, L&I Commissioner Frances Burns arranged for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. to impart words of wisdom about image-building to 40 department employees tasked with customer service duties. The customer is always right, right?

Now comes word that last week, about 60 L&I employees spent a day at an executive training session with five professors from both the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and its Fels Institute of Government.

They discussed performance management, work system models and lessons in leadership - and how to apply it all to improving L&I, from dealing with dangerous properties to coping with change in general.

Said L&I spokeswoman Maura Kennedy, "We realize we need to build upon the existing strengths of our employees togive them the tools they need to implement reforms."

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