CH2M HILL is working with Metro Vancouver’s Water and Liquid Waste Services Departments on a robust training program that will provide staff with the information and knowledge needed to optimize operations.

By: Rhonda Harris, CH2M HILL Director of Consulting Services

Located in the lower mainland of British Columbia, Canada, Metro Vancouver is a federation of 22 municipalities, one electoral area, and one treaty First Nation. Metro Vancouver, serving approximately two million people, provides regional services such as water, wastewater, solid waste, air quality, and parks. The Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Division is the largest staff group at Metro Vancouver.

Recently, CH2M HILL and Metro Vancouver teamed up to assist the O&M Division(recently reorganized into the Water and Liquid Waste Services Departments) with their O&M Technical Training and Procedures Program.  Like many utilities around the world, Metro Vancouver is facing an aging workforce and as their staff reaches retirement age, one of the biggest concerns is how to capture their knowledge and expertise before they retire.

To address this challenge and help Metro Vancouver optimize its operations, CH2M HILL is working with Metro Vancouver to create a robust foundation for their Learning Management system, which will facilitate sustainable, forward-looking training development and implementation for their O&M professionals. Metro Vancouver has formed cross-functional working groups to develop specific areas of the Training Development Plan.

Through a bottom up assessment, the team is evaluating current operations and training; identifying competencies, training gaps and operator requirements for each operations and maintenance risk; and building a Development Plan and implementation process for building the required training.

When completed, the O&M Training and Procedures Program will be implemented and expanded across all divisions of the Water and Liquid Waste Services Departments. The purpose of the Program is to provide the Division’s staff with the tools needed to work more efficiently and effectively. The training and procedures process will assist with hiring and training multi-skilled workers, on boarding, redesigning jobs, and providing easy access to relevant technical knowledge and information for all staff. Knowledge is transformational; giving the O&M staff access to the information and process procedures they need to be successful in their jobs operating and maintaining the utility will make Metro Vancouver an effective organization.

Rhonda Harris is a Director of Consulting Services for CH2M HILL’s Strategic Consulting Platform, and is the Technical Lead for Operations and Quality Control for the Metro Vancouver Technical Training and Procedures Program. With more than 35 years of experience, Rhonda excels at developing and implementing technical training programs for operations personnel, and developing regulations for the U.S. EPA. She also has an extensive range of design, construction, management, and operations experience in water and wastewater facilities and systems. She can be reached at [email protected].