PNW Section Training Coordination Committee

Pacific Northwest Section
Training Coordination Committee
Leveraging Limited Resources to Provide Excellence and
Outline – What to Cover…
The Pacific Northwest Section
What the Members Need
The Training Coordination Committee
The Website – Leveraging Technology
Putting it all together
Looking to the Future
A Journey
Back in Time
A Bit About Me…
 18+ years of water treatment experience
 Privilege and honor to work for an organization that
values education and growth
 Spend close to 10% of my time training other
 Including teaching classes for State Drinking Water
A Bit About Me…
A Bit About Me…
The Pacific Northwest Section
 Founded in 1927
 Now comprised of 3000+ members in Oregon,
Washington and Idaho
 Vision: the PNWS-AWWA will be the recognized
leader of the drinking water profession in the Pacific
Northwest for safe and high quality drinking water.
 One of the ways that we ensure that we fulfill this
vision is through the provision of the highest quality
education and training.
The PNWS-AWWA (cont’d)
 The PNWS-AWWA is an ALL volunteer Section
 Except Executive Director
 Executive Board
 Chair, most immediate Past Chair and Association
 Board of Trustees
 Two members each from Washington, Oregon/Idaho
and At-large.
 Treasurer
The PNWS (cont’d)
 Volunteers leading Volunteers
 Over 30 standing committees
 Covering every aspect of the provision of water
 From natural resource to tap and everything in between
 Specialized Committees
 Subsection Advisory Council
 Training Coordination Committee
The PNWS-AWWA (cont’d)
 We are also unique
in that we are
divided into 12
 Local operators
providing local
(…the Problem)
 Geographical diversity provides opportunities as well as
 Three different agencies with individual sets of rules
relating to drinking water treatment, distribution and
operator certification.
 A class approved in Oregon may not get approval in
Washington or Idaho
The Members Needs
 When members were polled, Training and Networking
were their primary concerns
 How do I… Do you know anyone who…Have you ever
 Subsections, Committees have filled this need
 Training presented an interesting problem
 There were a lot of facets that presented barriers to
implementation of a successful training
The Members Needs (cont’d)
 Primarily in our Section those darn 3 states again…
 Even when advertised, attendance was limited outside a
small geographical area
 Many trainings were being created and presented that were
 There was no one place where an operator could go to easily
find out what trainings were being offered
 Unfamiliarity with the CEU approval process led to denial of
approval or lack of trying because of cost and uncertainty
 Some folks wanted to put trainings on, but just didn’t know
how to hold a successful training session
The Solution
 Section had Committees that were to focus on
 Education
 Certification
 Efforts focused on trying to bring states certification
programs closer together
 Training
 But largely under utilized and under coordinated
The Solution… (cont’d)
 Then Chair Bob Ward appointed an ad-hoc committee
tasked with tackling one recurring theme…
 Creating a blueprint to help subsections, committees and
individuals set-up and hold a successful and sustainable
 Trainings cost $. If you can’t break even you can’t hold
another one!
 That Committee Co-Chaired by Lisa Snowden and our now
Association Director Brenda Lennox created the Blueprint
For Successful Training
The Solution… (cont’d)
 The ad-hoc committee filled one gap, but identified a
need in the Section: There needs to be a group of
folks working to coordinate the collection and
distribution of information relating the trainings
that were being held around the 3 State Section
 In February 2012 the Training Coordination Committee
was Born
The Training Coordination Committee
 The purpose of this Committee is to provide the Section
with consolidated training information including an
updated display of classes and training opportunities,
allowing members and water professionals the ability to
find the training from one web site location. The
Committee will also provide tools and support to promote
the Section’s available training opportunities to attract
attendance at Section and Sub-Section sponsored classes
and training events. The Committee will also facilitate
communication and coordination between Idaho, Oregon,
and Washington operator certification programs and the
The Training Coordination Committee
 Key Goals for the First Year:
Create the “One Stop Shop” for Training
Create Budgeting Tools
Marketing Trainings/Registration Tools
The Training Coordination Committee
 Timing is EVERYTHING
 Website
 Existing website was going to be difficult to incorporate
many of the committees goals…
 Website redesign – were able to incorporate many of
the TCC’s desires into the website
 Website goals:
 Streamlined and Simple
 Automate as much of the process as possible
The Training Coordination Committee
The Training Coordination Committee
The Training Coordination Committee
The Training Coordination Committee
Entering New Training Events
 We are a volunteer organization!
 … self service is KEY to success!
The Training Coordination Committee
Entering New Training Events
 Entering a new training into the database was as easy
as composing an email…
The Training Coordination Committee
Entering New Training Events
The Training Coordination Committee
 But that was only the first step!
 Now members could find the information easy, it was
time to tackle the other goals…
 Google Sites
 Not the glitzy front end of the PNWS-AWWA site, but
effective, robust and EASY to train volunteers to use
and update.
The Training Coordination Committee
 Putting members in touch with resources
 Finding Courses that are already approved for
Continuing Education
 All three States keep databases of classes that they have
 Class name, how long, contact information, when the
approval will lapse
 Many instructors are willing to travel to teach their classes
or teach additional sessions in their area if interest is high
The Training Coordination Committee
 Putting members in touch with resources…
 Finding other agencies in the Section that are providing
water/wastewater education
 PNWS-AWWA has a very large percentage of small and
very small utilities so agencies like Rural Water have a
fairly large presence.
 Here is where those cooperation skills your mother taught
you pay off! Both agencies benefit by sending students to
each others organizations
The Training Coordination Committee
 Putting members in touch with resources: Hosting a
 Linking members to their respective responsible
agencies – Trainers responsibilities.
 Assistance with application processes
 Providing direct links to documents and forms to assist
members in hosting successful trainings.
…What Next?
 The website built, the resources collected
 Getting the word out to our members
Water Matters – quarterly print publication
E-newsletter – monthly distribution
Face-to-face training with Committee Chairs and
Subsection Officers
…What Next?
 Section holds training for the Committees in Fall and
Subsections in Winter
 TCC plays an integral role at these training sessions
 Instruction on how to use the website and registration
tools (Constant Contact, Pay-Pal, Google, etc.)
 Education on the resources that are available to members
in regards to training and continuing ed.
 Hosting existing training
 Develop new training
…What Next?
 Train-the-Trainer model
 Experimented with developing curriculum, training
trainers and getting programs approved through the
three States.
 Successful, but time consuming…
 TCC resources are limited, member burnout potential is
high… redirecting these efforts back to our Committees
 Let the TCC focus on collecting and distributing
…What Next?
 Improving the website tools
 Constant Contact - linking to training database
 Linking to State databases directly
 Continue to dialogue with Regulating Agencies about
the benefits of bringing Continuing Education
requirements closer together…
 Realizing that the rules will never truly agree, but the
Section could GREATLY benefit from one standard for

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