ITD’s district engineers, faced with high turnover among its corps of maintenance foremen, proposed a new training system for employees moving through the ranks to the supervisory level. The Maintenance Academy development team took the concept a couple of steps farther.
What emerged from those initial discussions is a three-level Maintenance Academy that provides an impressive array of technical courses designed for new employees, lead workers and foremen.
“The district engineers wanted a training system for foremen, but the development team determined the greatest need was for entry level technicians,” explains Greg Fredericksen, a training specialist in the Division of Highways.
The Maintenance Academy development team included Louie Albright (D-1), Mike Ponozzo (D-2), Claudius Barnes (D-3), Allen Knight (D-4), Phil Knapp (D-5), Blaine Ball (D-6), and Dave Jones and Bryon Breen of Headquarters.
The Level 1 course includes an introduction for new employees and background on policy and procedures. Those topics are covered on the first of the two-day course. The second day concentrates on truck and loader operation, including practical field applications. Successful learning is demonstrated through a written exam and operation of a font-end loader and ITD dump truck.
Three districts (3, 4 and 5) already have delivered their first entry-level course; Districts 1 and 6 are scheduled to deliver the Level 1 course this winter.
Employees who aspire to become a lead worker (transportation technician or transportation technician senior) and eventually foreman are encouraged to consider participating in advanced academy levels, 2 and 3. Neither has been delivered yet, but the full complement of courses has been developed and awaits their initial offering. Interested employees can find a matrix for Level 2 in the 2004 Division of Highways Technical Training Catalog can be downloaded from http://www.itd.idaho.gov/highways/training/ Select the catalog link from the left menu bar to download the document.
The intermediate level is designed for lead workers in road maintenance, vegetation or sign/striping. Nearly 120 classes are grouped into general categories: bridge, construction, environment, general, maintenance, materials, right of way, road design, safety, traffic and vehicle maintenance.
The training catalog outlines which classes are required and which are optional for each of the three specialties (road, vegetation and sign/striping). Classes are limited to 10-15 students and completion of the Maintenance Academy Level 1 is a prerequisite.
Technicians interested in advancing to the lead worker position are encouraged to review the class schedule and contract their local training representative (listed below).
Level 3, for foremen, includes:
• A reintroduction to students of the maintenance
mission and vision
The third level is designed for employees who have become a transportation technician principal within the preceding 1-3 years. Limited to 10-15 students, the academy takes about 3 1/2 days to complete.
Instruction is provided by district managers, section managers and veteran maintenance foreman with support and guidance from the ITD Maintenance Section.
For more information about the Maintenance Academy, contact Greg Fredericksen or the appropriate EST Coordinator or district trainer: