You don’t have to be an armed service veteran to understand the term Boot Camp . For most people it conjures up images of green recruits with a new rifle – shooting, climbing, running and crawling to achieve the glorious stature of a battle-ready soldier. It’s not exactly like that at LeDuc & Dexter, although there are similarities. Tom LeDuc explains, “Think about how dangerous it is to walk onto a construction site for the first time with no training. It’s really dangerous. There are all kinds of things going on overhead and power lines to deal with – you’re not sure where it’s safe to walk – plus you have to learn your job and do it!”
LeDuc & Dexter first introduced their Boot Camp training course last year to train new employees with little or no experience to become productive on the job after eleven 3-hour classes that meet once a week from 4 to 7 pm. Employees are not required to take the course, which is offered on a voluntary basis. A new group of employees have just started their Boot Camp. Jim Hopper, Residential Field Superintendent, is instructing the class, “On the job it’s a rush-rush situation – not a great learning environment for a new employee. They can get the basics in the classroom and then become more refined in their knowledge with on-the-job experience.” New Safety Director, Kevin Delong, will assist Hopper in instructing the class in safety procedures.
Two of the students in the current Boot Camp are from the office staff. Tammy Townsend, an office employee for over 4 years who is being groomed to oversee purchasing and material flow for the whole company already sees the benefits of Boot Camp after a few classes, “In the office I see part numbers and prices – now I’m learning more about how the plumbing fits together and exactly what each part does and looks like. When I talk to the suppliers I have a better overall understanding for things like substituting parts. Claudia Carson, who heads the Receiving Department and works closely with Tammy, is also a Boot Camp student, “Never turn down an opportunity to learn more about your job. I’m grateful for the opportunity. I’m becoming more familiar with parts and I’m better at my job because of what I’m learning. I think it helps the company.”