The list of Mary Kinnear’s responsibilities is impressive. As supervisor of Training and Compliance at NEW ENGLAND UTILITY CONSTRUCTORS, INC (NEUCO), she and the Training Team are responsible for not only developing and delivering training for approximately 400 employees, but also for keeping track of what each of them has completed and what still needs to be done.
This is particularly challenging since, as a utility construction company based in Massachusetts, all of the tasks that are performed in the field are subject to federally mandated Operator Qualification testing. From entry level construction technician training, where new hires are introduced to the basics, through the various levels of progression training, to the most seasoned foremen, to annual refresher training for all employees, the training never ends.
At the conclusion of each training track, workers then have to take exams at an off-site testing facility. The amount of tests vary, ranging from as few as 6 to as many as 18 in one testing session. The testing is a validation that they possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to safely and correctly perform the task. The pressure is high since failure to successfully complete the test has serious consequences, including potentially being unable to perform that task.
“Any time a person has to physically sit in a secure testing facility and test, it’s very nerve-wracking,” she said.