November 2, 2012
Story by Brandon Steinert
The last decade has been one of non-stop growth for Barton Community College. From its offerings to enrollments, Barton has been progressive and adaptive. That trend shows to be continuing with the college’s recent designation as an Occupational Safety and Health Administration Training Institute, which gives Barton the privilege and responsibility of providing OSHA training to businesses and organizations throughout the entire state of Kansas.
Barton’s Grandview Plaza campus, located near Junction City, Kan. has been a host site for OSHA for 10 years, which has allowed for limited types of training to be offered. The new designation as an official training institute allows the college to designate other higher education institutions as host sites for Barton’s offerings.
That concept will be the focus, said Bill Nash, Dean of Technical and Military Outreach.
“Establishing host sites throughout the state gives greater access for those small businesses to get the training they need for their employees,” he said, saying the cost associated with traveling to training sessions can be a prohibitive factor for many. “This will take the training closer to where business and industry are so they can pay for the training, not travel.
“We take pride in that we like to serve small business,” Nash added. “That's something the college as whole has done a good job of.”
Barton is the only official OSHA Training Institute in Kansas, and is also the very first Kansas school to be given the responsibility. Kansans had previously been taking courses orchestrated by out-of-state entities.
The new arrangement keeps Kansas dollars local, instead of spending them elsewhere.
“That’s always been a big thing for everyone,” he said. “Keep the training and the money in the state of Kansas.”
Though the first classes are already scheduled to begin in January, and much has already been decided or put in motion, a lot of work remains. Nash said the next big step is to have a series of conversations with the other higher education institutions in the state to set up host sites. A website is also in the works and new signage and promotional items are being developed.
“This puts Barton in the national spotlight,” Nash added. “We will be on OSHA’s national website, and when people go looking for training, Barton will be listed.”