BELL Adds Training Program to Develop Internal Workforce
Apr 24, 2020
The BELL Workforce Development Committee has been working on a way to give current employees the tools for success to help them grow into leadership positions. With the backing of upper management, the team set out to develop a robust, cohesive program in collaboration with Nashville State Community College (NSCC). The course will cover both technical and soft-skills courses, as well as on-the-job training and evaluation.
The committee (HR Director Peggy Harris, HR Generalist Braissy Canizales, Superintendent Bill Dooling, Superintendent Ken Jones, and Safety Coordinator Grant Pedley) will help lead the following courses:
OSHA Supervisor Training
Supervisor Safety Training
Supervisor EEO Training
Basic Construction Math
Basic Blue Print Reading
Basic Site Logistics
And a professor from NSCC will come to the office to lead the following leadership courses:
Building an Environment of Trust
Enhancing Personal Productivity
“This course is a win-win; it will help the participants and the company overall,” Ken explained. “As a superintendent, I know that training up the individuals on my projects strengthens my team and helps me do my job better.”
Level 1 of the program is preparing participants to become an hourly foreman or field engineer. The committee plans to develop Level 2 and Level 3 to help participants move up the ranks to assistant superintendent and, eventually, job superintendent.
“Bill and I are also sitting in on these courses with the participants to show support and help them if they need it,” Ken said. “We know they are capable of moving to the next level. But this is a new environment for many of our people, so some may need help building and keeping their confidence.”
The committee initially put out a request for current superintendents to nominate candidates in early 2020. Out of 25 nominations, 15 participants were selected for the first class, which kicked off in March.
“Our ideal candidates are loyal, dependable, have initiative, and are willing to learn,” said Ken. “This is not a required course; it’s done of their own will. They can move up as high as they would like to go and control what level they want to achieve.”
Congratulations to our first class!
A Participant’s Perspective
Unfortunately, participants have only been able to attend one course so far: Building an Environment of Trust. The rest of the program has been delayed for the time being due to safety measures in place for COVID-19, but the participants are eager to get back to it.
“The best part so far was seeing all of the guys jump in and participate,” said Tucker Houston. “The instructor was compassionate, engaging, and inclusive. She encouraged everyone to get involved and made sure everyone understood the content – even despite any language barriers.”
Tucker has been with BELL for almost a year, serving in a unique role: ½ Field Engineer & ½ Project Engineer. He graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in May 2019 with a degree in construction management. And though he originally intended to join a construction company in an office role, he decided that he wanted to gain a more authentic understanding of the industry than what he learned from books in school. If he did, in fact, decide to move into an office role, he believed it would be necessary to have been in the shoes of a field employee in order to help him lead more effectively.
When Tucker started with BELL, Peggy and Ken mentioned the supervisor training course they were working on. Though he had a lot of the technical training in school, he knew it wouldn’t hurt to continue developing his skills.
“On the technical side, I’m most excited about the site logistics portion because doing a well job on that sets the tone and increases productivity for the whole project from the front end,” Tucker said. “We actually didn’t get too deep into that in school, and I’m eager to gain more knowledge in this area.”
“Plus, every company is different. I think this class will really help participants learn the “BELL way.”