RICHMOND, Va. –
More than 40 Virginia Department of Military Affairs employees completed trade technician annual safety training between July 13-Aug. 11, 2021, at various locations around the state.
The training is a yearly DMA requirement which focuses on ensuring the workforce which provides maintenance to readiness centers and populated work structures are provided safety equipment and training to maintain their areas of operation, according to retired Command Sgt. Maj. Tim White, the DMA instructor and trainer.
“It’s important to keep the trade technicians well trained,” White said. “We found during COVID-19 and civil disturbance that the trade techs were mission essential in keeping the readiness centers clean and functional during the deployment of servicemembers for state active duty call up. The trade techs play an important part in unit readiness.”
The seven-hour course took place in Virginia Beach, Fort Pickett, Christiansburg and Warrenton.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the training was approximately 10 months out of its yearly training cycle but after the final training the group is back to 100% compliance with agency requirements.
“Prior training consisted of the 30-40 trade technicians traveling to Fort Pickett for one day of training,” White said. “Due to the resource requirements, meals, lodging and distance for traveling to Fort Pickett from readiness centers, the regional training concept was developed.”
The regional concept allows training at a readiness center that is more central to an area that covers a large range of a trade tech’s duty stations. The readiness centers provided the best training area in an environment identical to the place they work. It also allowed the trainers and staff to see how daily trade tech operations work at the readiness center and what improvements they can help provide.
“It’s great to hear when the unit leadership supports the trade techs and make them part of the team,” White said. “The look and functionality of the readiness centers is one of the first impressions that people have about the Virginia Guard.”
Areas of training included CPR certification and first aid, control of hazardous energy, aerial lift safety, waste management training, storm water management, basic quarterly HVAC maintenance and training on facilities safety inspection checklists.
“I was very impressed with all of the instructors and trade technicians,” White said. “I witnessed a lot of knowledge and experience within the DMA work force that I consider subject matter experts.”