Salt Lake Community Action Program Reviews | Glassdoor

Salt Lake Community Action Program Reviews

Updated February 16, 2017
17 reviews

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2.5
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Erin Trenbeath-Murray
12 Ratings

17 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Was a great company, turned sour after several years of working there."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Salt Lake Community Action Program full-time

    Pros

    It was a great company for awhile, until they changed things. Then it wasn't fun anymore.

    Cons

    They don't seem to care about your skills or talents. They seems to be basing their decisions on personality.

    Advice to Management

    Get back to the basics - like skills set and talents. They are trying to change the culture.


  2. "Upper-management are bullies"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Salt Lake Community Action Program full-time

    Pros

    The mission is wonderful; many of the employees are wonderful and compassionate and all there for the same reason - to serve others.

    Cons

    Upper-management does not care about the work, just the image. They don't lead, they criticize, nitpick and gaslight, all while giving you more and more work to do. HR is full of kind people, even the director, but gossip is rampant and you can't go talk to anyone about any issues because of that. They overwork employees and barely utter a thanks and only criticize when you don't follow an arbitrary rule they just made up on the spot - to cover their image with the CEO or whoever. Did not focus on quality of work, changed things with no transparency or explanation. Upper-management needs a serious change. How many good employees need to be let go after months or quit in frustration before the board will realize the problem is with the ones in charge?


  3. "Assistant Teacher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Salt Lake Community Action Program full-time

    Pros

    Upper management are conscientious of overall morale, and seem employee-oriented in terms of being accessible to hear and respond to needs. There is a culture of communication and being solution-focused when problems arise.

    Cons

    Observation is--Bottom-line expectation is that work will take precedence over family life or outside demands. Since it is tied to Gov't funding, work involves a generous amount of paperwork and checklists. One must be wise with priorities-- what matters vs. what truly doesn't & just needs a "good enough" approach to check it off the list.


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  5. "Not worth it"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Salt Lake Community Action Program full-time

    Pros

    Employees on the ground are doing great work in the community to help people out of poverty.

    Cons

    Upper management is terrible. Power-hungry, hypocritical, disorganized and dictatorial with unclear expectations. HUGE turnover rates across all levels and departments. They show no trust in employees and lack of concern for how decisions will affect the lives of hundreds of employees. Makes decisions without employee input. Say they value feedback and accountability but don't listen to constructive feedback when it is given and don't offer a direct way to give feedback in a transparent way. Upper management are not held to the same accountability standards as everyone else- they are quick to fire employees who don't fit into their clique; they maintain an "us and them" mindset between upper management and employees and expect employees to drop everything to do their bidding. No work life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Practice what you preach. If you want a good organization with employees that stick around- you need to model the behavior you want to see. This doesn't mean bullying people into doing what you ask without asking them if it will work. It doesn't mean creating a culture of fear that if you speak your mind you will get fired. It means treating people with respect, trusting them to do their jobs and holding yourself to the same standards you expect of your employees. Get rid of the power hierarchy and create a more even playing field where you make expectations and roles clear, empower employees to do their jobs and make sure they have the support they need to be successful. This is the responsibility of a true *leader,* not merely a manager.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Terrible management, favoritism, and they overwork teachers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Salt Lake Community Action Program full-time

    Pros

    Serving Utah's low income families is a worthy cause.

    Cons

    Erin Trenbeath-Murray, who designated herself as CEO when she was installed to replace the outgoing executive director retired. The other reviews on here are accurate with regards to her and her "leadership" team, which consists of her personal cronies and favorite pet employees. Within a few months of taking over, she scrapped many of the old SLCAP programs, such as Home Retention and advocacy. Erin also fired many Weatherization employees, as well as some HR people she felt were loyal to the prior director. Her cronies then lied and told the family advocates that they would be phased out in 2-3 years, and then proceeded to get rid of all those positions in one year. She then placed many of her favorite Head Start workers in HEAT and Housing, even if they had no experience in those areas. Erin and her cronies overwork their rank and file employees and the lead teachers are overburdened. They do not listen to their employees' concerns of needs, and instead "lead" through fear and intimidation. It is a terrible workplace environment. Other non-profit agencies recognize that this place went downhill when Trenbeath-Murray took over. By the way, they recently changed their name to Utah Community Action. Apparently, they believe that a name change is easier than actually enacting positive change and fostering a healthy environment. I would not recommend this place to my worst enemy.

    Advice to Management

    Do the world a favor and step down. Develop some integrity. You are not leaders in any sense of the word. In the end, you are bullies and the fact remains that most of the lead teachers have 40-50 IQ points on you. When they recognize this, they quickly move on to another organization or field.


  7. "Great Employer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Salt Lake Community Action Program full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great leadership. Supportive work teams. Exceptional client services working with children and families to make gains in self-sufficiency.

    Cons

    I really can't think of any. I thoroughly enjoy being "We Are One". I believe in the agencies mission and that they have the leadership to attain their goals.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up. Keep it positive, open communication, honest, sincere and always do the right thing even when nobody is watching.


  8. "Helping"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Heat Worker
    Former Employee - Heat Worker
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Felt good helping those that really needed the support. The programs they offer help families and individuals struggling.

    Cons

    The only thing that I found an issue was the lack of pay. They didn't seem to pay very well. Opportunities for advancement seems to be lacking.


  9. "The cause is worthy, but the people who run it are terrible."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Teacher in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Lead Teacher in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Working with low income families who really benefit from the well rounded services that SLCAP Head Start offer, are what has kept me here for seven years. The changes I see in the kids and parents over the course of years shows me that we have made a real impact on people who needed it, and the statistics on the benefits of Early Head Start on children's future life success have been demonstrated to me over and over. Also the pay is better than almost anywhere else for early childhood education.

    Cons

    The agency is run by a group of people who lack positive leadership skills. They don't appreciate the people doing the grunt work, and expect every employee to adjust to major changes, that disrupt consistency for the children and families we serve, at the drop of a hat. They don't appreciate the fact that most normal people take some time and extra training to adjust to major job changes. They use a culture of fear, targeting those who bring up constructive critiques to them, to instill complacency, and tend to have a "do what you are told" attitude rather than having conversations and being open to compromise in regards to what the direct service providers see as being best for our clients. They say they want a culture of open communication, but don't listen when information is communicated upwards, and are very bad at communicating from the top down. The management's main focus seems to be on appearances, personal glory and power grabs throughout the state, making it harder for any other Head Start to operate in the state. They are also over invested in a hierarchical power structure, expecting everyone to cower in fear of or laude praise on the upper management. Perhaps this is an issue with the federal Head Start program as a whole to some extent, but they have proven to me to be a disfunctional beureaucratic organization. I understand that it is run as a federal program, and therefore needs to adhere to a lot of federal requirements, which do frequently seem to come from people with no experience in a classroom, but I do know people who work for other Head Starts in other areas that don't experience the same stresses from their direct upper management. Lastly, I've witnessed management doing things like backdating paperwork to avoid getting defunded, and I know there is a lot of fishy stuff happening with their bookkeeping.

    Advice to Management

    If you really want to demonstrate your belief that "we are one," you would spend some time in the classrooms every year to see how the numerous changes and extreme workload you pile on your employees actually works out in reality. They say they have an open communication policy, but I have watched attempts to communicate respectfully, but directly, result in numerous people being targeted and forced to quit over the years. I would urge management to be more kind and empathetic of the stress that this job entails, and remember the strategies of positive guidance that we use to educate kids when working with your employees, without being condescending. Also hire more support staff. Finding subs last minute, when I have been sick, is supposed to be my responsibility, but is nearly impossible, (and calling thirty people from a list is not what I should be doing at 6am, while throwing up) because every year there is so much turnover and people on maternity leave. And supervisors are clearly too overworked to provide classroom coverage. But we serve food, and over and over teachers have been made to come to work while severely ill with contagious illnesses.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Central Kitchen Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Central Kitchen Manager in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Central Kitchen Manager in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Salt Lake Community Action Program (Less than a year)

    Pros

    There is a lot of diversity in your day to day tasks. The work is rewarding when you look at the big picture.

    Cons

    You are often juggling may different tasks at once with people throwing in new tasks all of the time. The hours that you are told you will work are grossly inaccurate. The crew will torment you until you have proven yourself.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more, be upfront about hours and jobs that you will be asked to do outside regular business hours.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Salt Lake CAP Head Start"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Single Session Lead Teacher in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Single Session Lead Teacher in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Salt Lake Community Action Program full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Being able to empower and help children and families in the Salt Lake Area. Associating with the families is what made this job rewarding for me. This organization pays employees a fair hourly rate. I really enjoyed working for Christine & Aurora.

    Cons

    The number one single thing that I did not like about this organization was their ability to make the employees not feel valued. The first cultural belief in this organization is "we are one." We got that drilled into our heads so many times, yet I never ever once felt like we were one. I felt a very distinct line drawn between management and teachers/family advocates. I can count multiple times where I felt belittled and undervalued. Many times I felt as if I was supposed to just know everything without training, yet didn't receive training and then was corrected with passive aggressive or authoritarian behavior. I feel that I have a lot to offer, but that my skills were not appreciated and often smothered. Teaching is my passion, I loved the children and families, but I never felt fully satisfied in this job because of the management and the way we treated. I rarely had a day where I didn't feel like I wanted to quit.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest and be kind. The environment is somewhat toxic and I feel like that could easily be eliminated. I always felt like I was being fed a big lie. For lack of better words, I felt like the dynamics of the management of this organization is similar to high school cliques. Unfortunately, it is very obvious why there is a lot of turnaround each year.



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