The Parental Leave Program Helps Employees Prioritize Work and Family

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Life does not get more real and special than having a newborn arrive home. The very first yawn, smile, stretch, giggle, crawl, and the first evening where the baby has slept through the night – every moment is significant, memorable, and monumental. It’s hard to imagine missing any of these moments, yet when balancing a career, it’s a daily reminder that returning to work means just that.

While societal recognition about the importance of parental leave from work has grown, the City of Grand Junction’s family leave program is particularly generous. The program allows up to 12 weeks of paid leave to both mothers and fathers of a newborn or newly adopted or fostered children and is available to full-time employees in all departments.

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Photo: Kevin Keane

Kevin Keane, the City of Grand Junction’s Recruitment Marketer, was recently able to benefit from the City’s leave program after his son was born in March 2022.

“To have three months with my son allowed me to get to know him, to bond with him, and to learn about parenting. I was able to help my wife and tag-team so we could figure things out together,” he shared.

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Originally, Kevin had intended to only use two of the three months available to him but changed his mind during the first month at home with his son, Harper. His supervisor was supportive of his decision to take advantage of the full three months, which wasn’t particularly surprising to him. “This sense of empathy runs city-wide,” Kevin said. “There’s a broad willingness to work with employees when needs arise for schedule flexibility – like working from home or working later to take care of parental and family needs.”

“It’s such a benefit to those who want to prioritize family and career,” said Kevin. “The  City of Grand Junction offers two great benefits that are all-encompassing and child-centered: parental leave and employee childcare.” 

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Kevin and his wife relocated to Grand Junction with goals of work-life balance and a future family. The City of Grand Junction was exactly the kind of employment they were looking for. They chose Grand Junction because they wanted a beautiful city, a reasonable cost of living, easy access to the kind of recreational opportunities they treasure, and a supportive professional and personal balance. They were lucky enough to find it all in Grand Junction.

“It is invaluable for me as a parent, for my relationship with my wife, and for the connection I’ve started to build with my son,” he said. “You can’t put a price tag on time with your child. Yes, I want to be a great provider, but above all, I want to be a great dad and the City has been very supportive of me doing just that.”


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