Free Ed? Shutdown Sends Furloughed Federal Employees Back to School

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Posted: Jan 08, 2019 8:05 PM
Free Ed? Shutdown Sends Furloughed Federal Employees Back to School

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Today, the federal government entered its 17th day in a partial shutdown as party leaders continue to clash over the needed funds for President Trump’s proposed border wall. American University in Washington, D.C. decided to host a job training event known as Classes Without Quizzes, which provided "free skills and management training" to federal employees impacted by the shutdown. Activities included free networking opportunities, more than 10 different class options, breakfast, lunch, and an end-of-day networking reception. 

Seminars covered a wide variety of topics, including "Emotional Intelligence," "Mindful Leadership," "Project Management," and even on how to "Start a Podcast." 

Vicky Wilkins, the dean of AU’s School of Public Affairs, told Federal News Network the university had "a skeleton plan" in place to provide trainings to furloughed employees for the last few years. The university never had an opportunity to implement the program because previous shutdowns ended before they had a chance to get the seminars going.

“In this case, it’s kind of lingered, and we wanted to dust off that plan and bring it to fruition,” Wilkins said. 

About 550 federal employees signed up and attended the seminars.

Here's a video news report from The Now News of the event: 

The event was advertised by American University on social media starting this past Saturday: 

In the “Emotional Intelligence” seminar, information on being self-aware was distributed: 

Here's a picture of the "Kind Leadership" seminar: 

AU President Sylvia Burwell also announced on Twitter that federal employees affected by the government shutdown will be offered free admission to all university sporting events in the month of January: