Many industries have been coping with shortages of highly skilled workers in recent years, making it a challenge to properly staff maintenance operations. At Triad Electric & Controls, company leaders identified this trend affecting their own ranks as well as the industrial facilities where the electrical contractor performs work. Maintenance operations require highly skilled personnel due to the inherent dangers in working in an operating facility.
Triad understands the need to provide its clients with competent, trained maintenance technicians that can safely perform their jobs. Without a formal, accredited, advanced electrical maintenance training program available locally, Triad decided to take matters into its own hands.
The company formed a maintenance training subcommittee that included a team of highly experienced Triad supervisors and staff. The subcommittee met weekly for over a year to discuss how to craft a program to provide the necessary training. In partnership with Baton Rouge Community College and with help from industry experts, Triad developed a two-part, six-month accredited training initiative focused on electrical maintenance operations. Now in its second year, the program has proven a huge success.
Triad participants have significant prior electrical experience and an interest in maintenance operations. They will become certified electrical maintenance personnel upon completion of both classes. Classes take place after work hours on BRCC’s Baton Rouge campus, where participants are instructed on typical maintenance functions that include troubleshooting and preventative maintenance of all types of electrical equipment and systems found in an industrial facility.
“There isn’t anything out there like it,” says Triad President Brian Bordelon. “We want to target people who are already in the industry and have years of experience but may not have formal training in all the different aspects of electrical work. Our goal is to identify those people and help them better themselves and the facilities where they work.”
Offering instruction and certification through a third party is significant, says Business Development Manager Lane Word. “They can bring it anywhere,” Word says. “This is for the betterment of the industry as a whole.”
At a time of growing labor shortages, the training initiative could help fill critical gaps.
“There’s so much work available in industry, not only here in Louisiana but across the country. Just with electricians, the projection is we’re going to be 6,000 short in Louisiana,” says Human Resources Manager Todd Modicut. “We need more training to supply the right employees and retain them.”
“Traditionally, our clients performed their own maintenance. They recruited and developed their own employees until retirement,” adds Training Coordinator Jeremy McMichael. “But recently, with COVID and the retirement of Baby Boomers, it has created a bigger need than they could fill.”
Triad Electric & Controls, a Newtron Group company headquartered in Baton Rouge, is an industry leader in workforce development and recently earned awards from the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance for its efforts. The company employs about 4,500 people across the country, with 1,000 working in the Greater Baton Rouge area.
Senior Consultant Glen Redd says it is important to invest in employees and provide them educational opportunities. Triad and its clients are reaping many benefits stemming from the training program.
“Having well-trained people for jobs in these facilities gives us an advantage over our competition. And the plants recognize what Triad is doing to better the industry,” he says. “It’s a win-win-win for everyone.”