A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Video Interviews with Some of the Instructors and Staff at the CMEF Performance Verification Center

Earlier this spring I attended an open house at the new Performance Verification Center in La Porte, Texas.  The Center has been created by ABC Houston and the Construction and Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF) to provide hands-on evaluation of craft performance skills by certified Performance Evaluators as part of the accreditation process of students and trainees.

Glen O’Mary, Director of Education for the ABC/CMEF Performance Verification Center, joined the staff this February, but has been working in the construction and maintenance industry for 14 years, so he knows many of the people associated with this organization.  He is excited to be a part of CMEF, which you can hear in the following 3-minute video interview.  He says,

“We need a trained and competent workforce.  Everybody here is willing to get their hands dirty – literally – to support the cause and do this.  We are providing a future for families and giving somebody a chance at a life that they may not have had an opportunity to have in the past.  Why I am so close to this is it is helping people change their lives – to become something better.  That’s why my heart is in it so much.”

William Fuller, Lead Instructor at CMEF, told me about his background and what he brings to CMEF with his experiences working for a contractor as a craftsman in several disciplines including sandblasting, painting, carpentry, form making, concrete, rebar, work on boiler makers, pipe fitting, towers and exchangers.  He worked first in industrial construction and then later had his own commercial construction business.  He is now also a Master Trainer and Instructor for NCCER and an adjunct of outreach for OSHA, so he brings a strong background of safety knowledge to CMEF.  He told me why he thinks CMEF and the new Performance Verification Center are so special:

“We are finally able to provide for our industry a place where men and women can have an opportunity to show that they are craftsmen – that they can perform a skill set that provides them a way to become wage income earners, and also [have] a sense of well-being and confidence.”

I also heard from Jeff Hart who is the CMEF Training and Safety Coordinator, a Subject Matter Expert in Crane and Rigging, and CMEF Adjunct Training Instructor and Crane and Rigging Evaluator.  He teaches basic, intermediate, and advanced rigging as well as the mathematics of rigging.  He explained:

“There is a lot of trigonometry – a lot of math – in advanced rigging, and that’s where we slow down as a class to make sure we capture it, to get [the students] in.”

When I asked how CMEF got involved in certifying crane and rigging operators, Fuller explained that those skills used to fall under the skilled crafts, but because of the new OSHA initiative, CMEF decided that they needed to offer a strong certified and qualified workforce strictly in those disciplines.

You can watch both interviews in the 6-minute video below, and look for one more article coming soon with more interviews videoed at the open house.

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