Under a contract from the United States General Services Administration, FCS developed and implemented an On-the-Job Training (OJT) Program. The plants covered in this program provide heating steam and chilled water to over 100 buildings. The steam and chilled water produced at these plants is distributed to consumers through a network of underground tunnels and piping, with a combined capacity of 2,395,000 pounds per hour of heating steam. The plants covered in the training program underwent controls and fuel burning equipment upgrades designed to improve reliability and availability of steam and chilled water to customers.
The need for a comprehensive OJT program was a result of the combination of many narrow job areas, and the new equipment installed at the heating plants. Faced with many operators with narrowly-focused jobs, GSA decided to create one position, Boiler Plant Operator, as part of their transition to a multi-skilled work force. Based on results of previously conducted classroom training sessions, GSA recognized the need for a practical, job-based training program that would allow personnel to learn their jobs quicker and retain the knowledge longer. The program would also provide standardized knowledge and skills to their Boiler Plant Operators, and enable them to be qualified on a uniform basis.
As the first step in designing a job-oriented training program (see illustration), FCS conducted a Job Task Analysis in close conjunction with GSA operations personnel and management. This phase of the project established the tasks, knowledge, and skills required for successful job performance by the Boiler Plant Operators. Soliciting input from operations personnel assures their needs are met and provides them with a sense of ownership in the proram.
FCS has used this approach successfully in past projects.