Gearing for Success through Training and Education

Skilled tradespeople are becoming rare commodities in our nation’s workforce. There are though career opportunities galore available for capable, trainable individuals who can be developed into future skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen. Outside of having a passion for your trade and possessing the right work ethic, what makes these opportunities more readily available -both in the short-term and long-term- is training; industry and job-specific training, which often results in credentialing, and/or certification. Today, many students view the culmination of their high school or college careers as the ‘light at the end of the (educational) tunnel’. “I’ve put my time in, and now, I’m done with learning!” Sound familiar? What many fail to realize though, is the process of learning and growing as both a person and a professional, is ongoing. It does not end with earning a diploma or degree.

Training is a process, not an event.

Regardless of whether you are preparing for a career in the power industry, construction, automotive repair, criminal justice or cosmetology, you will require some training or continuing education in order to obtain a job, maintain a job, and ultimately, to advance within a career. You will have to be trained how to perform your duties safely and in compliance with government regulations, all while adhering to your organization’s written policies. Professionals don’t have the luxury of ignoring the requirement for continuing education- just ask any doctor, lawyer, accountant or other licensed professional you happen to meet. You’ll soon learn that even with all the knowledge you’ve obtained thus far, changes will invariably occur in business. Technology will advance, methodologies will be redefined, existing laws will be amended, new laws will be enacted, and you will require training to interpret these changes and maintain current education levels in your area of expertise.

In today’s economic and legal landscape, companies simply cannot afford to not provide training to their employees. In various industries like construction, manufacturing, or transportation, where there can be a high degree of danger involved in the day-to-day operations, a lack of training can quickly result in serious injuries, illnesses or even fatalities. The collateral (financial) damage that results from these incidents, can sometimes be significant enough to force a company to permanently close their doors for business. It is the existence and prevalence of such danger in the workplace, that makes training such a high priority not only for companies but also, for governmental agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They are legally responsible for both setting and enforcing safety and health standards for the workplace. Without training, sadly productivity suffers and accidents happen. People get hurt unnecessarily and companies end up losing hard-earned money that could have otherwise been spent on employee incentives, pay increases or other worthwhile investments. In the end, nobody wins in the absence of training.

As you learn and grow in life as well as in your career, you will begin to see through the ups and downs, good times, bad times, trials and tribulations, training regularly occurs along the way. It doesn’t always occur in the workplace or in a classroom setting. Training can come from a teacher, relative, family friend or another party that’s interested in your overall success. Do yourself and your future industry a favor; take full advantage of training and educational opportunities when they are presented to you. They won’t always come free of charge. Pay close attention to the lessons being taught by your instructors, superiors, community leaders and elders. Apply them to your work and everyday life where appropriate. If you pay really close attention, you’ll realize that all of us – as inhabitants of this planet Earth – have been surrounded by ‘trainers’ and have been ‘training’ in some form or fashion, for our whole lives. Sometimes, we just have to open our ears and listen a little more closely to recognize the lessons when they’re being offered.

HB NEXT offers training and certification in a variety of OSHA safety areas. Let HB NEXT come to your jobsite and prepare your crew. HB NEXT also offers a workforce ready training division. Take a look at their workforce development success. Ask HB NEXT today for your training solution.


By: Ryan Boling, Training Operations Manager

EPA Makes Strides in Monitoring Stormwater Systems

In the United States, raw sewage overflows and inadequately controlled stormwater discharges from municipal sewer systems sending a variety of harmful pollutants, disease causing organisms, metals and nutrients that threaten our communities’ water quality.  This can also cause beach and shellfish bed closings, stream flooding along with basement backups of sewage.  Through the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had a goal by the end of 2016 to visit 213 systems addressing large combined sewer systems with untreated sewage overflows.  Large municipal combined sewer systems are those serving a population > 50,000 people.  At FY 2016, they had visited 203 systems.  They also had a goal to address large sanitary sewer systems with untreated sewage overflow.  The goal was to visit 1103 systems by FY 2016.  They’ve completed 964 systems.  Large municipalities whose sanitary sewer systems produce > 10 million gallons per day (mgd) of waterwater.

It is imperative those working on construction projects or with situations that can impede water drainage or sewer drainage, special preventive measures are taken to ensure responsibility is shown to prevent harmful pollutants from threatening a community’s water quality.  Pavement and roofs prevent rain from naturally soaking into the ground.  Therefore, the water runs off into storm drains, sewer systems and drainage ditches.  This can cause the following

  • Downstream flooding
  • Stream bank erosion
  • Increased turbidity (muddiness created by stirred up sediment) from erosion
  • Habitat destruction
  • Combined storm and sanitary sewer system overflows
  • Infrastructure damage
  • Contaminated streams, rivers and coastal water

On October 27, 2016, EPA’s Green Infrastructure Program released a draft guide, toolkit and technical assistance promoting a comprehensive, community planning approach to managing stormwater.  These are community solutions for voluntary long-term stormwater planning.   This toolkit will include technical and financing resources to walk communities through the long-term stormwater planning process provided in the Community Solutions for the Stormwater Management Guide.

The EPA is developing long-term stromwater plans to serve as a national model in the following areas:

  • Burlington, Iowa
  • Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • Rochester, New Hampshire
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico

The EPA hopes early and effective stormwater planning and management will provide a significant impact for long-term cost savings while supporting human health and water quality.

HB NEXT provides compliance training and management services for stormwater projects.  Understanding the challenges and the solutions for stormwater is critical to keeping your project on track and under budget. Contact HB NEXT today for more information.

Source:  United States Environmental Protection Agency Enforcement and Planning Division