|Director of training Robert Litster gives a team building seminar during WETC's Saftey Fest.|
From June 20 through the 22 the College of Eastern Utah put on their first "safety fest" event at the Western Energy Training Center.
The three day event provided safety training to all local energy and building related partners in Carbon and Emery County. According to WETC Director of Training Robert Litster, the event personified the facilities moto that "safety begins with training."
Safety and certification classes were taught at the WETC from 9:00 a.m. to as late as 4:30 p.m. each day and was highlighted by a round table discussion between all involved within local government and the energy industry on the events second day.
During the round table representative of the oil and gas, local vocational and economic government and mining industry were broken up into teams with an individual educational facilitator from WETC. The facilitator aided them in discussing five separate topics dealing with safety and training needs within the area.
"You know when we first started meeting and putting all of these individuals together they all told me that they had never sat in the same room together and now it is common place. We are very proud that the WETC helped to facilitate that," said WETC Director Steven Burge.
According to Burge communication between educators, government and industry is what makes the WETC unique.
"We provide industry driven training here and that is what sets this facility apart," continued Burge.
|Dr. Robert Topping assists a colleague during the safety fest.|
The round table discussion was led by curriculum director Dr. Robert Topping who informed the three groups that they would have 20 minutes to actively discuss their training and safety needs.
After the discussion all three groups came up with very different ideas about how to make local education and vocational training better.
"It was very interesting to see the difference between the ideas expressed by the government individuals in contrast to the industry representatives," said Burge. "The government was very abstract in their ideas stating that they would like to see a diversified delivery of relevant educational opportunities. Whereas the industry representatives were much more specific detailing exactly what type of training they would like to see and just how much it was going to cost them to get it."
The discussion was followed by a break in the training via a reception dinner at the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center where Salt Lake Tribune humorist Robert Kirby addressed the local industry members, government officials and educators.
The June 22 classes were highlighted by Jimmie Farr's Behavioral Safety Technology Course and Robert Litster's leadership and team building seminar.
Farr is the senior health and safety specialist for the mid-continent business unit of ConocoPhillips. The safety instructor has over 30 years of safety experience in the oil and gas industry.
Homegrown Robert Litster also has over 30 years experience in safety and training and also holds 13 professional safety certifications.
Litsters seminar was completely interactive and was attended by a good deal of production managers from the local energy industry.
During one point in his presentation he broke his class up into teams and instructed them to take a simple pen apart and then put it back together before passing it on to the next member of their team.
According to Litster the simple exercise is used to show the meaning of teamwork and quality control within a production facility.
"The amount of information and education that was shared this week is unprecedented within our area," concluded Litster. "We hope to see this event get bigger and better every year as we here at the WETC stay fluid and change our training programs as the industry changes around us."