Cross Training In An Uncertain Market

June 19, 2008 at 1:39 pm 1 comment


By Carol Metzner, President, The Metzner Group, LLC and Managing Partner, CivilEngineeringCentral.com

Hurricanes, tornados, wild thunderstorms, earthquakes…..devastation.  It is apparent that the civil engineering community has become firemen; rushing to suffering areas to put out fires here, there and everywhere.  FEMA engineers, water resources specialists, geotechncial investigators, and everyone in between make their way to evaluate, report and advise.  Add Mother Nature’s wrath to our much talked about “crumbling infrastructure” and we have a deadly mix.

With our continuing civil engineering staffing shortage, how can we design infrastructure to meet tomorrow’s needs, let alone today’s, while repairing yesterday’s designs (successful ones as well as the failures)?

The number of daily calls from civil engineers in down markets in states across the US amaze me. They apply for jobs outside their specific area of knowledge. We see  experienced civil engineers applying for jobs as structural engineers. Companies do not want to cross train, so they won’t even interview the engineer.  I understand that cross training costs money, but how much money is that open job costing you in the long run?

When business is strong and everyone is overworked and stressed, perhaps the idea of cross training is too much to handle. With the market slow down, could now be the time to review programs? We are not a community that has fully embraced staff planning or staffing predictions. Cross training shows loyalty to your staff, preparing for these days of uncertainty that are certain to arrive! Cross training can only help your company and your clients. It can eliminate the band-aid approach when employees resign.

Does your civil engineering employer have a cross training program? Let us know!

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Entry filed under: Civil Engineering Issues, Civil Engineering Shortage, Failing US Infrastructure, Recruiting, US Infrastructure. Tags: , , , .

The Results Are In… Have You Transitioned To Transit?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Matt Anderson  |  June 20, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    I don’t think it is out of the question. It should be encouraged at all levels. We have done some in the past, but we have not been consistent. I was cross-trained the first month I was hired, but have taken some initiative to grow and expand my knowledge beyond what the company offered.
    I wish cross-training receives the attention it deserves.

    Reply

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