Utilities Management Training Held in St. John Parish
Friday, October 31, 2014
Parish President Natalie Robottom’s goal of providing Utilities Management Training was realized last month after several months of planning. Management Training is required in the Louisiana Capacity Development Rule and is provided free of charge by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH). Dinah Millet, a certified environmental trainer with Thornton, Musso, & Bellemin and 24 years of experience in the water and wastewater industry, addressed Administrative Staff and Finance employees, Utilities Department Management and Utility Board Members during the four and a half hour training course in early October.
According to Robottom, she became aware of this training opportunity in July and Human Resources Director, Stacey Cador coordinated the event with the trainer, parish staff, Utility Board members and Council members. “Managing a Parish Utility System is a huge responsibility and requires ongoing training for all parties involved. Although members of the Utilities Department attended trainings previously, it was important that everyone with a role hear the same message at the same time. This was the first time the training was attended by such a range of attendees responsible for running the system,” Robottom said.
The course focused on utilities management practices involving finances, technical capacity, accountability, liability, insurance, ethics, policy development and long term planning. Long time Utilities Board Member, Glenn Brady, said “The training emphasized the need for everyone involved to be committed, to take their responsibilities seriously, and to work as a team to provide safe drinking water to the residents of our parish.” The training was interactive and allowed for questions and answers throughout the session.
Although the training was only required for water systems, all Utilities Department managers attended and gained valuable information about management, financial responsibility, policy development and long-term planning. “The instructor was both knowledgeable and insightful! Mrs. Millet’s coverage of the material kept everyone on the edge of their seats waiting for every morsel of information. There was not a lapse in attention from anyone in attendance and we all thoroughly enjoyed our training session. I appreciate those who saw the need and set this training up,” said Utilities Manager Troy Miles. Attendees received a Certificate of Completion from the State, as well as continuing education credits that can be applied toward certification requirements.