News Release

OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

District 10 • 338 Muskingum Drive • Marietta, Ohio 45750 • http://www.dot.state.oh.us/Districts/D10

 

Noble County (August 18, 2009) - With a desire to follow its mission and develop new operational practices, ODOT District 10 and the Office of Training have developed a partnership to save thousands of dollars on the new Noble County Garage facility by using ODOT trainees to complete the excavation work for the new facility as part of their learning process.

Training students broke ground on the new Noble County Garage facility on June 29, 2009. With two track hoes, a bulldozer and two dump trucks, the trainees began moving over 1,100 cubic yards of dirt, digging sediment ponds and improving drainage.

"When we can use our current resources to do something new and improve our process, we are spending taxpayer dollars responsibly," stated Highway Management Administrator Jamie Hendershot. "As well, our employees are learning tangible skills that will transfer to the field."

During typical equipment training, a single trainee would be put through different individual tests to practice their skills. A test may be to dig a ditch with a track hoe, ten feet by two feet, with a depth of four feet, then fill it back in.

But at the Noble County site, trainees from various districts work as a team, performing multiple tasks while working towards a common goal.

"The trainees receive project experience which allows them to solve problems, create solutions and achieve a common goal," explained Carl Merkle, training officer at the Southeast Regional Training Site in the Belle Valley Outpost.

This type of work is usually contracted out, but it is estimated that having trainees perform these functions for this project has saved District 10 around $80,000.

"As a district, we are very focused on creating best practices between our departments," explained Larry Woodford, District 10 Deputy Director. "A best practice promotes cost savings, standardizes processes, and increases employee knowledge. The Noble County project is a great example of what we strive to accomplish."

Training is used to collaborating with districts and other state agencies, but the Noble Garage site is a larger project than those done in the past. According to Training Supervisor Scott Fulks, Training is working on projects in each of its five districts, including: the Warren Correctional Institute in the southwest region, the Pickaway Correctional Institute in the central region, the Ohio State Penitentiary in the northeast region, and Henry County ODOT garage site in the northwest region.

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