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News | Oct. 6, 2017

Distribution kicks off Material Handling Equipment Center of Excellence instructor training

By Patrick Quenga DLA Distribution Current Operations

DLA Distribution Headquarters Current Operations and Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania kicked off the agency’s Material Handling Equipment Center of Excellence instructor training pilot on Sept. 25.  The week-long pilot, which includes members from DLA Headquarters Human Resources Training Office and various Distribution and Disposition Services field offices, will set the conditions for future MHE instructor training throughout DLA.  

DLA operates 4,800 pieces of various MHE with approximately 800 licensed operators.  Past reviews of MHE performance found that the agency lacked two key elements that promote safer operations:  a universal MHE Standard Operating Procedure and standardized instructor and operator training. 

In 2014, DLA Distribution tackled the first element by developing an MHE SOP that outlines general MHE program governance, licensing and safe operating procedures. Additionally, it provides general guidance on MHE operator training.  However, there remained a gap in standardizing the training program and to include the curriculum used by the agency trainers. 

In 2016, DLA Distribution with sponsorship from Headquarters DLA Installation Operations embarked on a pilot project to create an MHE Instructor Training COE that standardizes the training materials along with the way instructors are trained, and centralizes the training process for efficiencies.

As the agency’s lead for the MHE Instructor Training COE, DLA Distribution designate DLA Distribution Susquehanna as the COE site.  DLA Distribution Susquehanna already possessed the necessary training space and equipment necessary to become the agency COE.   During the summer of 2017, DLA HQ and human resources staff met with several of the agency’s MHE experts and developed the standardized MHE instructor training course. 

The pilot class kicked off on Sept. 25, with participation from DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Red River and Norfolk along with representatives from Disposition Services and Installation Operations.  During the pilot, DLA Distribution Senior MHE Leader Brad Bellis stated, “Not only are we paving the way within the Department for a first-ever standardized MHE instructor training program, we are also setting the stage for standardizing MHE operator training across the entire agency.” 

Upon completion of the pilot phase, the agency will roll out instructor training network.