Blended training sessions save money, time

Kathy Cline/ADOT Communications

Saving as many taxpayer dollars as possible is a priority with ADOT. And nowhere is that more evident than training new workers.

It used to be that new highway-operations workers had to train for two weeks in Phoenix. Not anymore. A new training method that blends virtual and in-person NEMO (New Employee Maintenance Orientation) instruction is saving ADOT time and money.

NEMO focuses on required training for highway operations workers, such as chainsaw operations, fall prevention/ladder, work zone traffic control and flagger training. The new training method was born of necessity during the public-health situation of 2021. The Technical Learning and Development Training Delivery team learned Google Classroom and launched their first virtual-only NEMO class from Phoenix in April 2020. In September 2021, six employees in the Page Maintenance Unit participated virtually; another 17 employees participated virtually from across Arizona.

With the blended approach, the training now is only one week instead of two weeks. Besides saving employees time, it saves the state money on hotels as well as vehicle wear-and-tear.

“I like that our employees can fulfill their training requirements without travel and still be able to participate in other maintenance functions prior to or upon completion of training, but more importantly, they can return home safely to their families at the end of the work day,” said Kingman Maintenance Supervisor Chris Riggins.