Program maximizes ROI for energy service company

By Rebecca Bell

“We make money when our equipment is running,” explained Daniel Castillo, training manager with Universal Pressure Pumping. “That’s why it’s so important to us to have well-trained diesel technicians.

“We’ve been working with the diesel technology program at Midland College (MC) since 2016 to provide customized training to our Level 1 technicians. The training that Midland College provides in airbrake fundamentals to meet Department of Transportation (DoT) guidelines addresses our specific business challenges in a time-efficient way.”

Erick Gutierrez, MC diesel technology program chair, explained that the training for Universal is done in an eight-hour day. An average class size is 10 students, and the college typically conducts customized training for Universal one day each month.

“We couldn’t ask for a better arrangement,” Castillo said. “The simulator that Midland College has in its Diesel Tech lab allows our students to receive hands-on instruction combined with theory.”

An ideal partnership

Castillo explained that Universal is a subsidiary of Patterson-UTI and provides pressure pumping and reservoir enhancement services for the oil and gas industry in West Texas and South Texas. Universal contracts with the MC diesel technology program for training diesel techs stationed in Midland and Pearsall, Texas. Technicians are required to take the course to advance to a higher level within the organization.

“We have really enjoyed our partnership with Universal,” said Chelsy Gann, director of Midland College Workforce Continuing Education. “Customized training, like what we are doing for Universal, maximizes a company’s return on investment (ROI) through higher knowledge for their employees.”

Gann explained that the college is expanding its customized training program in other areas, as well.

“We target our customized training to meet the specific business needs of an organization with one-of-a-kind training content,” Gann said. “College staff and instructors work with the organization to develop targeted learning objectives and a clear plan for how the program will be structured and delivered to meet learning goals.”

“It is really to our advantage to use Midland College instructors, facilities and equipment,” Brandon Miles, Universal senior training advisor, said. “The Midland College Diesel Technology lab contains up-to-date technology. This means that our company resources aren’t taken offline for training. We can still keep doing business while employees are being trained.”

Gutierrez praised Universal for its commitment to keep technicians trained and compliant with DoT standards.

“During the Universal eight-hour airbrakes training module, we present content and activities within the context of real-life environments and scenarios specific to those that Universal techs will encounter.” Gutierrez explained. “Our goal is to provide a catered experience that prepares them to face on-the-job challenges and succeed.”

Universal Senior Training Manager Curtis Walker said that the feedback he has received from employees who have participated in the class is that it is well-organized, instructors are knowledgeable and the lab contains excellent equipment for manipulating on-the-job scenarios.

“The training our technicians receive at Midland College is good, fast and inexpensive,” Castillo said. “You can’t beat that.”

This article originally appeared here.

Rebecca Bell

is the executive director of institutional advancement at Midland College in Texas.