Business Center

Maintenance and Operations Training Services Commits to Continuous Improvement

Michael Horn, Project Management Intern

May 28, 2019

“Innovation comes from, one, acknowledging yourself; two, studying and understanding the problem; and three, finding a solution” (Dias, 2018).  Kevin Macvittie, Director of Maintenance and Operations Training Services (MOTS) formerly known as the (Maintenance Training Academy, MTA), has embraced these values in his effort to improve the MOTS curriculum.

Kevin began working with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) in March of 2017.  Before CDOT, Kevin enjoyed many successes while working in training/curriculum and Education Leadership through management of an online charter school, and work as an adjunct technology professor at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, CO.  Kevin completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education at Temple University and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership at Colorado State University.

His passion for education is apparent with the course of his professional and collegiate journeys.  When Kevin saw the opportunity to work with the MOTS, he did not hesitate because this was his opportunity to have a positive impact in the public sector.  “One of the goals that he set was to make the MOTS education relevant for his internal customers with support from CDOT Management and all stakeholders of the training academy.”

As the Director of the Maintenance and Operations Training Services, Kevin has the opportunity to teach people from several different professions and skill levels; nonetheless, there were many long-standing obstacles to overcome. To state a few; lack of internal leadership, outdated curriculum, and an organizational culture that is resistant to change.

Kevin filled a physical void for the MOTS, but that was a small beginning for his new journey. One of the first tasks on Kevin's agenda was building relationships with the Maintenance Superintendents and Senior Foremen (LTC Ops). Kevin is still working to develop their trust in new process and direction, but several small gains have already been realized. The LTC Ops group are supportive of his plans to use in-house expertise to develop new curriculum and conduct classroom training. He used his project planning and scheduling skills to stay within the departmental budget.

The previous MOTS schedule stretched throughout the calendar year with no respect to the workload of the MOTS attendees. Thus, adjusting the MOTS calendar to be more mission friendly was essential for establishing a partnership with the regions.  Kevin's team now has a dynamic approach to scheduling training initiatives to complement the seasonal work commitments, such as snow removal during winter or paving and striping in the summer. This approach ensures that all managers receive their training at the start of the fiscal year and are able to reinforce training initiatives and outcomes at the regional level with CDOT's front line employees in Maintenance and Operations.

The MOTS conducts training statewide from onboarding new employees to hands-on skills training for equipment operation.  A glance at MOTS upcoming training includes; Commercial Driver's License (CDL) training, Maintenance Scheduling and Planning skills, After Action Review (AAR), Roadside Fire Prevention, Bridge Maintenance & Inspection, and Traffic Control.  A core focus of the FY20 instructional cycle is on Quick Clearance of accidents. In support of the Department of Maintenance and Operations reorganization, the MOTS may provide project management skills training for program managers.

The revamped MOTS has a strong focus on providing quality training, with annual plans for continuous improvement. When I look at the MOTS improvements, it resembles a professional technical training program from the Colorado Community College System. MOTS has adjunct instructors with practical industry knowledge using technology to deliver a viable product to their internal customers. Kevin acknowledged the MOTS deficiencies, he studied the problem, and he found a solution. I think it would be safe to call that innovation!