Case Study

Power Generation Tailored Maintenance Training and Qualification Program

Client Description
This company is a power generation company committed to the safe and reliable generation of electricity. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, this company assumes regional management of newly acquired fossil-fuel power plants in Illinois and Pennsylvania, and has undertaken nearly $500 million in projects that will significantly reduce air emissions at these facilities.

The Challenge
The customer was faced with the challenge of an aging workforce, especially those in the skilled trades. The customer realized that they would benefit from a more structured maintenance training program for their employees. In collaboration with GP Strategies, the company created an operator qualification program. This program provided craft skills assessments for new employees and allowed for skill enhancement and qualification for incumbent Instrument Mechanics (IMs), Maintenance Mechanics (MMs), and Maintenance Electricians (MEs).

The Solution
GP Strategies designed and developed the company’s Maintenance Training and Qualification Program (Operator Qualification Program). Their Operator Qualification Program incorporated online training modules for self-study and instructor-led training (ILT) for hands-on competency. GP Strategies also developed skilled performance measures (SPMs) and implemented an operator qualification process. GP Strategies was engaged to develop the training and qualification program for new hires entering their maintenance workforce, as well as a skill enhancement program for current employees. These training programs were delivered using a mix of GP Strategies instructors and also internal instructors.

The client was not only able to leverage GP Strategies services for the content design and delivery, but it also enabled them to have a “turnkey” solution—they had full ownership of the training program. GP Strategies provided train-the-trainer sessions for the customer’s instructors, so they could independently manage and administer the program moving forward.

The Training Model
Entry-Level Slotting

  • Candidates were evaluated during an extensive interview process.
  • Written exams as well as practical application, or SPMs, were used to slot experienced new hires into the training and qualification program.

Blended Learning Instructional Process

  • New hires were required to successfully complete online maintenance training modules prior to attending ILT.
  • The program consisted of approximately 800 hours (30% ILT, 70% hands-on lab exercises) for IM, MM, and ME positions.
  • The four-year qualification program consisted of five qualification steps and four time steps.

Testing and Evaluation

  • Pre- and post-evaluations were administered for each course.
  • Successful completion of job performance measures was required for each qualification step.
  • SPMs were required for incumbent qualification.

Summary
The organization was able to bridge the skilled trades’ gap in their workforce with the assistance of GP Strategies. Not only was GP Strategies able to evaluate the situation, and design and develop a tailored maintenance training and qualification program, but they also provided a turnkey solution so that the company could assume ownership of their own training moving forward.

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