Shannon Blas

Shannon Blas is an engineering technician at the Bangor Naval Submarine Base, overseeing the work of a contractor hired to perform maintenance and repairs on the military base near Bremerton on the Olympic Peninsula. Although her position isn’t “hands-on,” Blas nevertheless found the BOC training useful in her duties.

“Because I monitor the contractor’s performance on these issues I . . . need to know a lot,” said Blas. “I need to know about the work and what should be done in order to determine whether they’re performing their work properly.”

After gaining her certification in February, Blas has already had opportunities to put her BOC education to work. In April she was scrutinizing a contractor-generated survey for pathway lighting around a residential quarters, assessing lighting types, levels and placement. Blas also had conducted a lighting survey of her work area; discovering it had too much light, she suggested to the base’s energy department a number of options for reducing lighting levels. “We’re always looking for energy conservation measures” on the base, she said. “Anything I could learn about that would benefit the base.”

One of three people nominated by a supervisor for BOC training, Blas said she “wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I first started.” Nevertheless she cited several valuable BOC courses, including lighting, energy conservation techniques, indoor air quality and building systems overview. “On heating and cooling, it’s great to know how systems are balanced . . . [even though] I’m not the actual person doing that.” Blas added she already knew “bits and pieces” of the BOC curriculum through her work at the base.

She concluded: “Certainly anything I can learn . . . may be not applicable today, but it will certainly give you kind of a well-rounded knowledge of the things you’re working in.”

Blas recommends BOC training for others, particularly those with “hands-on” responsibilities for building and facilities operations.

By Mark Ohrenschall