Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette Victor “Bill” Boyd considers Building Operator Certification among the best continuing education programs he’s taken in his career. He uses words like “priceless” and “invaluable” to describe BOC.
“My advice is, if they’re working in the facilities industry, or anything to do with facilities maintenance, that this class is invaluable,” said Boyd. He is the facility coordinator for Portland-based Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette, which employs and trains people with disabilities and special needs, and operates 23 retail stores and 75 donation sites.
BOC’s value for Boyd and his non-profit organization didn’t end when he completed the Portland training series in late 1999. BOC training led Boyd to upgrade lighting systems, including installation of energy-efficient electronic ballasts and fluorescent lights (in place of incandescents). He also put in efficient LED (light-emitting diode) exit lights with 10-year warranties. “I’ll never have to replace another bulb, and they’re using less energy.” Timers on parking lot lights enable further energy reductions.
Boyd also has set back HVAC systems in Goodwill facilities to come on in stages in occupied areas. He examined ductwork, too, finding a “simple fix” with damper changes that “managed to solve two problems we had in two separate rooms.” And, heeding BOC’s indoor air quality curricula, Boyd installed inside filters that capture small particles and reduce the amount of floating lint. “We keep our air quality the highest we possibly can,” he said. “We’ve had people with asthma and other disabilities sensitive to that kind of thing.”
One relatively simple and relatively important BOC lesson he learned is keeping close track of energy bills. “You can tell something that’s different,” Boyd said. “You can also watch it go down as you implement things.”
BOC training also has fostered new management initiatives by Boyd, including a roving preventative maintenance person and more attention to taking care of things before they turn into more costly problems. “We’ve kind of overhauled our whole maintenance department because of this class, and I’ve been able to justify it,” he said.
The BOC class requires time and effort, but Boyd considers it well-spent, both for Goodwill Industries and his own career development. He thinks BOC certification may become essential for facilities employment.
“I’ve never taken a class that has been so complete in overall facility maintenance, and just facility enlightenment. They cover just about every subject. If a person wants a well-rounded knowledge of facilities and maintenance and the way your building operates, they have to take this class.”
Boyd offers this ultimate endorsement of BOC: “My company paid for it, but I would have if they hadn’t. That’s how much I wanted the knowledge.”