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Unprecedented training opportunities for Bergelectric foremen

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With a work force of more than 1,700 employees in 10 offices across the country, the management at Bergelectric understands the importance of effective work force training. Indeed, a well-trained, motivated employee base is critical to the company's growth and future.

In an effort to provide field employees with progressive training and career-advancement opportunities, Bergelectric has supplemented its Foreman Training - a 21-week program designed to prepare employees for a leadership position - with a mandated 30-hour OSHA training course.

In an unprecedented, forward-thinking effort to provide field employees with progressive training and career-advancement opportunities, Bergelectric has supplemented its Foreman Training - a 21-week program designed to prepare employees for a leadership position - with a mandated 30-hour OSHA training course.

Extending far beyond OSHA requirements, Berg's goal is to have all 300-plus Berg foremen receive the OSHA 30-hour training by the end of 2005. In addition to existing foremen, Berg employees currently participating in foremen training will be required to complete the course.

The OSHA training course is typically reserved for superintendents and select foremen, and Berg's revolutionary decision to extend the training to all foremen is threefold, said Bob Shaw, vice president of human resources.

"Our mission is to be fully aligned with how our clients do business, and increasingly clients are demanding the 30-hour training," he said. "It's also an opportunity to offer a refresher safety course for our existing foremen and increases our marketability."

Entirely voluntary, the OSHA course is recognized by the construction industry as a baseline for supervisor and worker training in the basics of occupational safety and health. Within the Bergelectric organization, there are numerous individuals in 10 regional offices across the country that have completed an OSHA trainer course and are authorized to teach the 30-hour course in construction safety and health standards.

The 30-hour training program offered by Bergelectric includes OSHA standards for managing safety functions, hot work and lockout/tagout training, fall protection, excavations and confined spaces. Material handling, and scaffolds and ladders, aerial and forklifts, and hand and power tools are also incorporated.

In addition to live classes offered in Berg's 10 regional offices, Berg foremen in even the most remote locations can take the training online, and gain access to the program through a link on Berg's Web site that connects to an online risk-management company authorized to issue 30-hour training cards upon course completion.

Founded in Los Angeles 59 years ago, Bergelectric has since evolved into one of the most sophisticated electrical contractors in the country. Safety has played a decisive role in Berg's success, and not surprisingly, the company's efforts in that arena have been nationally recognized. In 2004 Berg was deemed the "best of the best" in the nation when they took home the Associated General Contractors Safety Excellence Grand Award.

With high-profile projects ranging from world-class entertainment complexes to commercial offices, Bergelectric maintains a national presence with offices in San Diego, Sacramento, Orlando, Portland, Orange County, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver and Raleigh/Durham.


Submitted by Ken Filips, director of field training for Bergelectric

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