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Employee Spotlight June 07, 2022

Team of the Month > June 2022

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Team of the Month > June 2022

The Operator-In-Training Team builds career pathway

A team of PUD employees has been developing and finetuning a program that gives entry-level helpers the skills they need to be successful equipment operators at the PUD. The Operator-In-Training program is an ongoing continual improvement (CI) project that takes aspiring equipment operators and provides them with not only the skills to pass the equipment operator test but also the knowledge needed to do the job successfully and safely.

“Many entry-level helpers would love to learn how to run the equipment,” said John Rover, Operations Superintendent. “This program provides a path to pursue that goal.”

The CI team that developed the project is comprised primarily of experienced operators, line crew, and a few managers. Together they have worked to develop a program that has structure and consistency while providing training on a variety of equipment. The team is constantly evaluating the program and working for ways to improve the training. Just recently, the team added more real-world experience to the program.

The Operator-In-Training Team is taking training to the highest level to ensure we have the most qualified, safe, proficient operators in the trade so we can meet the customer experience we strive to deliver today and in the future,” said Paul Kiss, Operations Superintendent.

Thus far about five people have successfully completed the training program.

“When I reflect on the operator-in-training efforts, what I see are skilled operators who want to give back to the trade by building a pathway for the next person,” said John. “It is great to work with a group that is focused on making a positive difference for the next generation. The work has not been easy, but it has been rewarding and a great testament to our PUD values.”

The team is continuing to meet and refine the program so that it provides the best experience and training possible.

“This is part of what we mean when we talk about building a more inclusive culture at the PUD,” said Guy Payne, Assistant General Manager of Distribution & Engineering. “I want to applaud this team’s commitment to uplifting and supporting trainees and creating an opportunity for growth in the trade. Your hard work embodies what it means to be a member of Team PUD.”

Operator-In-Training Team (L-R in photo):

  • Jeff Fenney, Wire Foreman
  • John Rover, Operations Superintendent
  • Billy Binckley, Equipment & Driver Trainer
  • Slade Wills, Assistant Lineman Training Coordinator
  • Nate Wright, Assistant Equipment & Driver Trainer (in bulldozer)
  • Keith Ellison, Construction Superintendent
  • Paul Kiss, Operations Superintendent
  • Dan Jodock, Major Equipment & Yard Operator
  • Josie Anderson, Office Technician 3
  • Andy Tomaras, Major Equipment & Yard Lead