October 30, 2020

The video presentation of November's safety meeting topic, Dealing with the Public and Social Media, is now live on our YouTube channel!  Click here to watch! Don't forget to turn in a sign in sheet to JT&S so we can count it in your training transcripts!

October 22, 2020

Since the pandemic continues to add question marks to all of our advance planning, we are going to try to get ahead of the curve a bit and try to move our Foreman’s Conference from its traditional spot in early January to March 17-19, 2021. We will still try to hold our other workshops and schools during our usually scheduled periods. Please bear in mind that until the conditions surrounding the pandemic are resolved we must all remain flexible and anticipate possible changes. We will send out more details with regard to content and any special precautions as we get closer to those dates. We would appreciate any comments or feedback and we ask you all to remain diligent and be safe.

Thank you,

Mike Simmons

September 4, 2020

JT&S has launched our own YouTube page to provide safety videos for our subscribers! We understand that due to COVID-19, some monthly safety meetings have been put on hold so we have uploaded video presentations of some of our recent and upcoming safety meeting titles in hopes that this will help fill the safety meeting space until things get back to business as usual.

Take a look at the Safety Program Videos page under our Resources tab in the top menu for access to these videos. We will be adding more videos soon!

September 3, 2020

I hope you are all doing well and remaining healthy. As the Pandemic and our forced adjustments to it continue, I greatly appreciate your patience and understanding. The most recent up-tics and fluctuations of infection rates for the COVID-19 virus demonstrate that we are not quite ready to go back to business as usual. The threat to the health and well-being of those who contract the virus remains significant. Although you have all done a great job in taking steps to protect your employees and the public, we are still not through the pandemic yet. Guidelines for social distancing and hygiene still pose a significant restriction to the number of persons that can and will attend workshops and schools that JT&S has scheduled. Many of you are understandably reluctant to send your employees for overnight stays and increased exposure to personnel from outside organizations. These restrictions also significantly decrease the effectiveness of the format we have traditionally used in our craft schools. With that in mind, and in the interest of safeguarding the health and well-being of those utilities and their employees who we serve, I have cancelled our 2020 URD School scheduled for October 12 – 16 and our Winter 2020 Basic Transformer School scheduled for November 16 – 20. Any advanced registrations for these two Schools will be placed at the top of our registration for the next time these schools/workshops are held. Fees already received will be refunded to the respective utilities. Please remember to cancel any room reservations you have made by contacting the hotel directly.

I do not make this decision lightly, but this is the best way to ensure that we do not contribute to the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to help to keep those employees we serve as safe as possible under the circumstances. We fully intend to hold our 2021 Foreman’s Conference as scheduled for January 6 – 8, 2021, however that also will depend on the state of the pandemic and we will review conditions as those dates draw closer. Should there still be concerns regarding in-person gatherings in January, we will look to push that meeting out to Spring 2021. We will give you as much advance notice as possible, but we must remain flexible until conditions return to something closer to normal.

For those requiring any of the canceled Schools to complete their Safety Certified Linemen designation or for those who use these schools as part of the apprenticeship program, we will be developing alternative programming to help fulfill those requirements. You can contact me or Holly for more details or watch our website for details and announcements.

Finally, please note that cancellation of these schools still does not change the status or availability of your JT&S instructor to assist you with your ongoing safety program. Each of the JT&S staff remains readily accessible and able to provide the same quality professional safety service that you have come to expect for your safety program and training needs. Delivery of programs or field safety services will continue per the desire and requirements of our participating utilities. All programming and training sessions will comply with the policies and procedures enacted by the host utility, and will conform to the guidelines provided by the CDC and State of Tennessee. We have developed video versions of several of our monthly meetings that are up-coming or were perhaps missed this past spring and summer. We are also developing one-day workshops to help fill in for some of the training lost by cancellation of our annual Schools. For specifics regarding your regular monthly training opportunities, contact your JT&S instructor, or me. You can check our website for a list of the available videos and we will soon have the list of workshops available there as well.

Again, thank you for your patience and diligence in maintaining a safe work environment and for continuing to provide essential utilities that our communities so desperately need. Be compliant, be safe, stay healthy, and thank you for your participation and support of the Tennessee Job Training & Safety Program.

Mike Simmons
TN JT&S Coordinator, CSP