USAG HUMPHREYS – Safety and Occupational Health Specialists Cho, Tae-hyon and Kim, Kwang- sop recently accomplished something in ten weeks that historically took local national employees ten years.
Cho and Kim are the first Korean employees to graduate from the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center’s Career Program 12 Joint Safety and Occupational Health course.
Previously, local national employees were required to transition between duty positions to gain the required skills to complete their introduction to the Safety and Occupational Health fields, taking on average ten years to accomplish.
Looking to reduce the training discrepancy between his foreign and American workforce, Humphreys Safety Manager William Hansel researched how to afford his entire workforce the same opportunities.
Hansel reached out to Dr. Brenda Miller, the Functional Chief Representative for CP-12, and inquired whether local national employees could attend the same functional training as their U.S. counterparts.
“For about a year, we collaborated with the Safety Center to develop the process and funding for our KGS employees – which had never been done before,” said Hansel.
“This not only benefits us, but all OCONUS garrisons and foreign employees,” said Hansel.
Cho and Kim were not the only local national employees at the course. A German and Japanese student also attended for the first time.
Kim said the course challenged them both. The course had been compressed from 16 to 10 weeks, making it tough to get through, Kim said. “We were given high- tech information, and they had high expectations of our job performance.”
Cho also spoke to the difficulty of the course. In particular, Cho and Kim credit their classmates and instructors for helping them through the class with regards to the language and culture differences.
“Ten weeks is a long time, and the course was taught with our language barrier,” he said. “We got a lot of help from our classmates.”
The resident course at Fort Rucker, Ala., is the final piece in the CP-12 Certificate Program that will lead to Cho and Kim receiving American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited certifications.
The certificate program consists of three phases: a block of pre-resident distance learning courses, the ten-week resident course and another block of post-resident distance learning courses.
Once all requisite training has been completed, a safety manager submits an extensive application packet to obtain the CP-12 Professional Certificate.
The CP-12 certificate identifies Cho and Kim as Level 1 safety professionals, which means they have the base level understanding of safety and occupational health programs.
They are ready to begin the next step of professional development that will transition them from safety inspectors and specialists to managing safety programs.
For Kim that means being assigned to an explosives specific track; and Cho will tackle risk management, Hansel said.
Now that the way has been cleared, the garrison is looking to send two more pairs of employees from the Industrial Hygiene Office and the Fire Department.
CP-12 includes personnel from the following career groups: Safety, Industrial Hygiene, Health Physics, Safety Engineering, Fire Protection, Aviation, Gas & Radiation Detection, Chemical Plant Operation, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Student Trainees.