Six city employees and two elected officials opted to take advantage of a training program on an array of skills aimed at creating a friendlier city hall, said Mayor Steve Myers.

The mayor, who made a friendlier city hall part of his campaign, gained aldermanic approval of the online training program this past November.

The training is offered by Strategic Government Resources (SGR). The cost to the city is a base one-time setup fee of $500 and $27 a unit for each employee.

“They can take as many courses as they like,” City Clerk Kim Barfield said. “They are all online and they can do them in their office.”

Classes, which vary in length, are about one hour long.

“So far we have been able to do three a month, but staff members can set their own pace,” Barfield said.

There is no cost to the employees.

Speaking at the March 5 board meeting, the mayor complimented the individuals who are currently taking one or more of the classes, which include Rae Cowsert, Janet Fuszner, Melissa Allen, Debbie Hayden, Kim Barfield and Scott Wagner. Elected officials include Collector Debbie Kelley and Alderman Ed Gass.

Myers also urged other aldermen to consider taking the classes.

Courses offered include Extraordinary Customer Service, Integrating Your Community, Telephone Skills, Building a Respectful Workplace, Workplace Harassment Prevention, Managing Change and Honing Your Emotional Intelligence.

At the same meeting, aldermen approved a training program for the mayor. Myers will study the fundamentals of economic development in a six-week program offered by University of Missouri-St. Louis, East-West Gateway Council of Governments, the Public Policy Administration, the Urban Land Institute and Bi-State Development.

Classes will be held on Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m.

Participants will study public sector economics, community development concepts, and tools to attract and support development and redevelopment opportunities in the community.