Training adapts and delivers for Pantex production

  • Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 11:43 am

Instructor Brad Immel teaches a Conduct of Operations class
Instructor Brad Immel teaches a Conduct of Operations class to new production technicians in the Pantex Nuclear Incident Response Program facility.

Training is implementing creative solutions to serve Production’s significant personnel needs as it increases throughput as part of the Pantex Production Optimization effort.

“People are our most important piece of the puzzle. They enable us deliver the mission,” said Scott Elliott, Weapons Training senior manager. “We train those who put their hands directly on the units. This puts Weapons Training directly in the path of ensuring product is delivered in a quality and timely manner.”

Humans Resources is hiring more than 200 production technicians and other production support by the end of September. Those essential new hires are creating a challenge for Organization Development and Training.

To meet immediate needs, Training had to first realign the existing Weapon Training instructor and training schedule to support the most urgent programs.

“We implemented a visual status board in our training area that keeps everyone appraised of what is happening in the training bays to make sure that any scheduling conflicts affecting trainers, students, tooling, and materials can be addressed,” Elliott said. Some trainers have been taking on new roles in prioritized training classes.

Space was another issue, considering the need for social distancing, as well as available computers for new hires to complete computer-based training courses. Places such as the John C. Drummond Center auditorium and the Nuclear Incident Response Program facility are now being used to train production technicians.

Training also submitted and was approved for a Federal Acquisition Regulations deviation that allows Pantex to train on overtime, if necessary, to maintain critical program deliverables.

Elliot said the challenges taught him that there are always going be unforeseen issues and that teamwork ensures these issues are addressed.

“It takes diligence to constantly challenge yourself and your organization about our understanding of the future needs,” Elliot said. “This means we need to regularly discuss our role in the production chain and how can we ensure it stays on the proper path.”

Production technicians work on training
Production technicians work on training in the JCDC auditorium.