Training and Development

During your first year at the LAO you will receive a significant amount of classroom and on-the-job training to further develop your skills.

Training is provided in the following areas:

  • State budget process
  • State legislative process
  • Identifying and analyzing issues
  • Writing
  • Testifying
  • Becoming a program expert

In addition, analysts in various sections throughout the office will present information about the projects they are working on or provide informational sessions in their policy areas throughout the year. Topics for these sessions have included how K-12 education is funded in California, tax subsidies for the film industry, and a discussion about state and local mandates.

Analysts also attend a wide variety of conferences and educational seminars, and conduct site visits in support of their continuing professional development.

The buddy system. The LAO uses a mentorship program, informally known as the "buddy system", to provide new analysts an additional support network, beyond other new analysts, the manager, and members of the section during their first year in the office. The buddy system pairs a new analyst with two more experienced analysts, who informally help the new analyst learn about the LAO and smooth their adjustment to the office.

The buddy system includes regular coffee breaks or lunches to help ensure that informal relationships are being developed. The buddies provide opportunities for the new analyst to shadow more experienced analysts. Also, the more experienced analysts will review with the new analysts sessions of the buddies testifying during recent budget hearings to help new analysts develop their testifying skills.