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