Add Veterans and Service Members to Your Manufacturing Team

The hiring push in manufacturing offers much opportunity for interested service members, especially if vets are given skills like instrumentation training.

Whether it’s the boatloads of tired veterans and service members coming home to a severe shortage of civilian jobs, or the reports of military families drowning under credit card debt, two organizations are disgruntled enough to take action.

America Wants You [www.americawantsyou.net], an initiative to get corporate employers to find jobs for service members, has teamed up with the 10,000 Jobs Challenge to create more opportunity for military families. The two groups will be knocking on office doors to encourage all kinds of fields to consider veteran applicants and post certain jobs for service members. But given the current hiring push among the manufacturing industry, the 10,000 Jobs Challenge should spread its efforts to power plants. Manufacturing plants require a variety of both general and specific skills, and much can be learned from on-the-job or online industrial training.

Industry-specific training, whether online or on-the-job, often means more to managers and employers than a college degree. For instance, operations and control personnel are much better prepared for the job if they receive some instrumentation and control training. Service members who worked with software or electrical maintenance already have a basic knowledge that could be fine tuned for an instrumentation and control position.

With instrumentation and control training, vets can get familiar with PLCs and learn how to collect accurate measurement data. Depending on their position in the military, they likely already have an eye for detail and the utmost regard for safety procedures. But beyond whether or not veterans and service members could be capable plant workers—and they could—they need the opportunity. Some say they need the chance more than unemployed civilians due to mountains of military debt.

A report by the Financial Industry Regulation Foundation shined an unforgiving light on the poor financial state of many military families. The survey showed 27 percent of participating military families had more than $10,000 worth of credit card debt versus 16 percent of civilian families with similar debt. More than one third of the enlisted or retired members surveyed had a hard time affording their monthly bills, and 10 percent of mortgage borrowers admitted being late on one or more payments in the past two years.

But, with doubled efforts from America Wants You and help from sites like CareerBuilder, hopefully unemployment and debt rates among service members will begin to shrink. The men and women serving our country shouldn’t be the ones suffering from the nation’s economic shortcomings. So, if you’re hiring instrumentation technicians or will be soon, consider reserving jobs for veterans, active duty members, or retirees. They have a well of knowledge and unique experience that can be honed with control training, and frankly, we owe them.

Harness Workforce Potential With Manufacturing Plant Training

The economy has a long way to go to full recovery, but the manufacturing industry is creating new jobs. Manufacturing training is an affordable way to harness a new workforce and make employees indispensible.

In the tech-driven world we find ourselves in, many jobs are rendered obsolete by the emergence of more efficient technology. But according to President Obama’s weekly address on MSNBC Jan. 19, manufacturers are hiring for the first time since the 1990s. Despite advanced equipment, manufacturing plants can be an abundant source of much-needed jobs. President Obama strongly advocates the need to invest in and support American manufacturing for both employment and trade purposes. Plants and factories can invest in their workforce through industrial safety training, a cost-efficient way to improve plant safety.

A thriving manufacturing industry means companies can outsource less, employ more hard-working Americans, and increase our number of exports. From the production of raw materials to finished products, mills and factories are responsible for infrastructure, automobiles, electronics, energy and other critical components of daily life. The American economy runs on the vast-producing manufacturing industry the way tires rely on tread to grip pavement. The industry is critical to our ability to compete in a global trade market; otherwise we have no traction. Hard workers are a factor of this equation, and quality workers are only improved by quality training.

Manufacturing safety training benefits old and new workers alike. Employees become even more valuable when armed with industrial safety training, unrivaled experience, and polished skills. The best machines and equipment simply can’t compare. Since manufacturing plant training is available online, it’s an affordable expense that helps even out the playing field for employees with different knowledge and experience levels.

The manufacturing industry will never boom like it did in the 1950s—it’s only one of many economic sectors—but it can alleviate some of the pressure from high unemployment rates. The Federal Reserve says factories added some 50,000 positions to the slim pool of job opportunity in January alone, and accounted for 13 percent of all the jobs created last year. By capitalizing on the steady hiring increase over the past five months with online industrial training, employees become truly irreplaceable.

New hires need custom training. With the advantage of manufacturing plant training and the ability to customize your courses, the hiring process is as efficient as possible. Your employee retention rate increases while the number of accidents decreases, which means overall factory output expands. Manufacturing training will help you harness the potential of a new workforce to improve productivity and enhance safety.

Instrumentation Training: Achieving Safety and Control the Cost-Effective Way

Whether you’re installing, operating, or maintaining large voltage electrical power plants, instrumentation training is paramount to safety and control. As you know, there’s a vast collection of electrical power components for the various control circuits, protective circuits, generators and beyond. And when it comes down to learning the ins-and-outs of AC power theory, diesel engines, and cable splicing, the need for some academic or classroom training is inevitable. Some things must be taught and practiced before they are performed in real scenarios with machinery that’s both expensive and dangerous.

But not all power plant workers have a formal classroom education beyond high school, and many companies can’t even afford to pay for classes at community college prices. The widespread availability of industrial online training, however, makes learning about instrumentation and control systems convenient for anyone with access to a computer. This accessibility for instrumentation training allows your entire team to rehearse protocol so equipment and processes are handled with the utmost safety on a daily basis.

Some managers and instrumentation technicians balk at virtual education, adamant that power plant training is most effective when done in person. But frankly, we can buy our groceries online, pay our bills online, and get the benefits of a classroom education online. It’s a cost-effective method to get basic concepts and fundamental principles out of the way so hands-on learning is that much easier. Instrumentation and control systems technicians also receive a degree of cross training, yet another cost-efficient advantage.

Instrumentation training is even more economically worthwhile because the series cross-trains workers on various topics. Since the roles of electrical maintenance and instrumentation and control systems overlap somewhat, instrumentation training targets both. When your employees have other skills for other positions, they can help educate new workers or provide assistance during transitions. Instrumentation and control systems training is uniquely useful in transitional periods because you’re able to add your power plant-specific information to the curriculum.

Being able to customize your courses and overall industrial training solutions increases safety, regulates control, and helps facilitate your hiring process. New employees are able to learn about actual equipment in your plant and the nuances of your programming. Older employees who may be nearing retirement can impart some of their irreplaceable knowledge before they leave, which can be used to train workers for years to come.

If there are instrumentation wrinkles in your plant, or if it’s about time to reinforce safety and control protocol, training can smooth out the hiccups. Online education will help your team grasp the basics, widen their skills through cross training, and customize their curriculum based on your electrical power plant.

Chemical Plant Training for Compliance

chemical plant compliance trainingSafety, security, and compliance are three of the biggest issues in chemical manufacturing. Each carries its own challenges, but each challenge also creates an opportunity. Like anything else, you learn from it and grow stronger, or you let it defeat you entirely. In a chemical plant, the latter has the potential to create devastating consequences. This three part series will look at the role of industrial training solutions in creating better opportunities from your biggest challenges.

Compliance

Compliance issues create huge challenges and financial risks for chemical plants. Rules and regulations change frequently, which means your own company policies change to reflect those changes. And compliance is no small thing. In fact, it ties into the safety and security of your plant. Those rules and regulations exist to help ensure worker and environmental safety, among other things. The role chemical plant training plays in mitigating compliance challenges is pretty obvious. You have to train your employees to help them understand what the regulations are, what they mean to them in their daily routines, and what consequences are possible should the plant become non-compliant.

As you are well aware, enforcing policy changes down to the letter can be very difficult. You have the actual law, typically written by one federal entity or another, and then you have your actual company policy that must reflect that law. You, and your employees, need to understand what permits are required, what the stipulations and obligations are to obtaining and maintaining those permits, etc. Fines and penalties for non-compliance are often as high as, if not higher than, those incurred after an accident or spill. So, you can see the potential challenges here. One employee misunderstands a federal law, or misinterprets company policy, and you’re slapped with a $1 million fine. Chemical plant training is a cost-effective way to stay current as the laws and policies change.

Another potential problem, particularly for long-established chemical companies, is understanding how company history may well violate modern regulations. This is most applicable to environmental initiatives, designed to clean up urban rivers and other bodies of water.  If a particular company was around during, say, the Civil War era, when pollution was at an all time high as plants were established, it’s very likely that company contributed to environmental pollution as well. What many companies didn’t expect was to be held accountable for that pollution decades later as rules and regulations evolved into environmental awareness. It’s great for the environment, but really bad for your bottom line. This is another area where wastewater training can help. If you are well versed in the environmental regulations, and you have a deep understanding of your own company’s history, you’re a lot less likely to make costly compliance errors.

The other thing is this: just because you’ve managed to keep your employees up to date on compliance issues, doesn’t mean those same rules and regulations will apply in a few years. Again, these things change. Fortunately, you can usually see the changes coming. Understanding past compliance trends can really help you to anticipate upcoming trends, and handle your compliance training accordingly.

Author: Jennifer Woosley

CiNet & Envisage Technologies Announce Federal Award to Provide Online Law Enforcement Training Nationwide

Free online training aims to keep officers on the street, reduce liability and increase safety

 

CARROLLTON, Texas – October 18, 2011 — Critical Information Network (CiNet), LLC and Envisage Technologies announced today that they were awarded a contract to provide tuition-free online training for state and local law enforcement agencies across the United States by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), a component of the Department of Homeland Security.

“In today’s budget-constrained environment, many small law enforcement agencies lack the resources, travel budgets or manpower to send their officers to classroom-based training to keep up their skills.   Police departments across the nation have been struggling to maintain essential services.  As budgets are being cut, vital training is frequently eliminated first,” said Ari Vidali, Envisage chief executive officer.  “The support provided by organizations such as the FLETC’s Rural Policing Institute and the Office of State and Local training are providing police officers access to high-quality training, regardless of the size of their department.”

Envisage will act as the prime contractor and deliver the free service in a secure, cloud environment via its Acadis Readiness Suite Learning Management System (LMS). The Acadis LMS enables officers to take courses and agencies to track results in one seamless platform.

The Law Enforcement Training Network (LETN), an Envisage partner and division of CiNet, will provide the extensive online learning library available on the system.  The LETN catalog gives enrolled officers access to 200 high-quality learning modules addressing important subjects such as Officer Survival, Use of Force, Narcotics, Gangs and Cybercrime.  Many of the courses are certified by state agencies to provide officers with in-service or continuing education credits.

“Working in concert with the Envisage team, CiNet’s Law Enforcement Training Network is extraordinarily proud to participate with the FLETC’s Rural Policing Institute to provide our expansive and time-tested library of critically needed training to those that put their lives on the line everyday of their brave careers”, said Steve Albright, CEO of CiNet. “We are honored to bring the Envisage and CiNet resources together in a blended solution to fulfill the requirements of FLETC’s training contributions to state and local law enforcement with the predominate community qualified as rural departments.”

The program is administered through FLETC’s Rural Policing Institute (RPI) and Office of State and Local Training (OSL). Their missions are to provide high-quality and easily accessible training to state, local, county, tribal and campus law enforcement officers, as well as other emergency responders.

“Both Envisage and CiNet are honored to have been selected by FLETC for this very important initiative,” said Ari Vidali. “The partnership between our state and local police departments and the Federal government is of paramount importance to the ongoing support of professional policing.”

About the Rural Policing Institute

The mission of the Rural Policing Institute (RPI) is to develop and deliver specialized and advanced training, based upon sound research, and to conduct outreach efforts for law enforcement officers, and to other emergency responders located in rural areas, including Indian Country.  To accomplish these objectives, the RPI will evaluate the needs of the rural law enforcement community; develop and deliver expert training and conduct outreach to rural law enforcement.  The RPI will work with partners and stakeholders in the development of new training programs to
include a validation process to measure training outcomes.  http://www.fletc.gov/rpi

About the FLETC Office of State and Local Training

The Office of State and Local Training (OSL) at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) provides tuition-free and low cost training to state, local, campus, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Programs are conducted at select sites throughout the country and are usually hosted by a local law enforcement agency in the area.  http://www.fletc.gov/osl

About ENVISAGE technologies

Founded in 2001, Envisage is an industry visionary in training management, resource optimization, complex scheduling and process automation for law enforcement, public safety and military organizations. Clients include military commands, federal law enforcement academies in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and state law enforcement and public safety organizations. http://www.envisagenow.com

About CiNet – LETN

Since 1989, CiNet’s Law Enforcement Training Network (LETN) has been a partner to our nation’s law enforcement service by delivering officer training solutions that help to retain personnel, reduce training costs, improve performance and ultimately save lives. LETN’s online courses serve every discipline within a law enforcement agency and depict real-life incidents analyzed by leading experts, increasing engagement, retention and results. Police officers have access to one of the largest libraries of law enforcement training videos in the industry, and the ability to develop customized curricula designed for specific job functions. http://www.letn.com/

About the Acadis Readiness Suite

The Acadis Readiness Suite is an enterprise software application that enables organizations to create training ecosystems. The system is in use by over 270,000 public safety professionals Nationwide.  Acadis automates the management of complex, high-risk training environments such as law enforcement, public safety, homeland security and the military. The modular system architecture allows training organizations to optimize the entire “hire-to-retire” lifecycle for personnel by fusing learning management, automated scheduling, registration, housing/barracks management, certification compliance tracking, automated testing, and document storage into a comprehensive end-to-end solution. The optional Acadis Portal Framework allows secure, decentralized access to online learning, employee training records, in-service training reporting, class registrations, and instructor availability management. http://www.envisagenow.com/acadis

 

Public Safety Training

 

Critical Information Network (CiNet) delivers performance-focused online training solutions that help emergency response personnel, public safety agencies and security firms save lives, protect critical infrastructure, improve workplace efficiency and manage critical risk threats. The comprehensive CiNet public safety portfolio has been serving the first responder community for almost twenty five years, with trusted brands that include the Law Enforcement Training Network (LETN), Professional Security Training Network (PSTN), Fire & Emergency Training Network (FETN) and Emergency Medical Update (PULSE).

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