CMI Trainee Update: Susanne’s Story
As a graduate of EBA’s construction management inspection (CMI) training class of 2016, I have gained an immeasurable amount of knowledge. Less than 1 year ago, I was working in retail management without many future career prospects. EBA changed all of that for me with a handshake from the CMI training program manager, Kevin Kreis, and the promise of an investment in my career.
Coming into the program, I had no prior experience with the construction management field. But I cannot say that now! As soon as I started at EBA in October 2015, I immediately began working on training programs. By the end of the first week, I had completed my OSHA 10 Hour Construction Safety, State Highway Administration Core, Portable Nuclear Gauge Safety, and environmental certifications.
By the second week of November I was off to Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant (BRWWTP) for hands-on training as a technician. Not long after, I took and passed the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Concrete Field Testing Technician exam, the first of many certifications I completed. I spent the month of December refining my concrete testing skills and working daily as a technician.
After the first of the year, things began to happen in rapid succession. I completed the Hot Mix Asphalt Technician, Soils and Aggregate Compaction Technician, and Temporary Traffic Control Manager exams all by the end of March. I remained at BRWWTP through the first quarter of the year, mainly focusing on nuclear density testing. Things were going so well at the site that the inspectors wanted me to stay on doing technician work. But EBA had a plan for me, so it was time to move on to further training.
In April I began working in EBA’s survey department to observe and learn about the surveying process. But since I’m not one to simply watch things happen, it wasn’t long before I began training as a functional member of a crew.
At first I was given simple tasks to get familiar with the process. I was quickly able to prepare a bipod or tribrach to set up prisms. I began to keep daily notes, a task that helped me learn more about the codes and features we were working on. I also learned how to use the total station and data collector, and I was then able to assist with a topography job in Baltimore City. By the end of my time in the department, I was regularly assigned to a crew to work, not just to observe.
This month, I began my first inspection job—a contract with State Highway in District 3. I feel that it is quite an accomplishment to be chosen for this job, especially considering that I completed the CMI training program in less than a year. My experience in the program is evidence that hard work does pay off!
Learning so much and completing my certifications in such a short period of time has definitely been a challenge, but worth it. The opportunity that EBA has given me has put me squarely on the path to a meaningful career. I cannot thank EBA and the training program leaders enough for all that they have done for me, and I know I will continue to have opportunities to grow with EBA.
Susanne Bowman is one of the first graduates from EBA’s CMI training program, designed to help engineering inspector/technician trainees learn the ins and outs of construction inspection, construction safety, surveying, materials testing, and more. Learn more about the program by contacting Joe Wallace or Kevin Kreis.