Exciting News: Legacy Brand Realignment to Takkion Operating LLC

We have an exciting development that designates a significant realignment of our legacy brands to a unified entity – Takkion Operating LLC.

This strategic decision is rooted in our commitment to streamline our operations, enhance efficiency, and provide you with an even more cohesive and integrated experience. Takkion Operating LLC will serve as the umbrella for our established brands, ensuring a seamless transition that aligns with our ongoing efforts to optimize our services.

Takkion Operating LLC embodies the values that have always been at the core of our business: safety, integrity, transparency and a dedication to providing you, our esteemed customers, with the highest quality products and services.

Please note that while our name is changing, our commitment to you remains unwavering. You can continue to expect the same level of professionalism, expertise, and customer service that you have come to rely on. Our team remains unchanged, and we are excited about the opportunities this realignment brings to further enhance our offerings and strengthen our partnership with you.


The official realignment will take effect on January 1st, 2024. Throughout this period, you may observe updates to our branding, communications, and online platforms to reflect the cohesive integration of our legacy brands of Transportation Partners & Logistics, Global Specialized Services, Renew Energy & Airway Services under the Takkion Operating LLC umbrella.

We genuinely appreciate your continued support and trust in our company. We look forward to the future as Takkion Operating LLC and are excited about the opportunities to serve you even better under our realigned name.
Thank you for your understanding and continued partnership.

Sincerely,
Takkion Operating LLC

TAKKION Named RAP Sponsor

TAKKION Management Co., LLC was recently recognized as a U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsor. 

TAKKION is recognized by both the State of Wyoming and the State of Texas. They will now be pursuing a National registration. 

TAKKION has opened itself up to working with countless apprentices, all of whom put in thousands of hours of work to become certified wind turbine service technicians. 

“Being a Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsor allows us to hire new employees or move current employees into the apprenticeship, and it allows them the opportunity to become a certified apprentice in our program, which is that of a wind turbine service technician,” said Kayla Allen, the Learning and Development Manager for Transportation Partners and Logistics. “Within the RAP, it is 2,000 hours each year of on-the-job learning, and we measure competencies based off of our work process schedule.” 

Within the RAP, TAKKION has a work process schedule with multiple different competencies that apprentices have to meet at the end of the apprenticeship program. The journey workers and the managers at the sites where the apprentices are working are the ones who measure the competencies and ensure that they are completed. Apprentices must also complete 144 hours per year of related instruction, made up of in-person training in any of TAKKION’s three training centers or online courses.

This is a major accomplishment for TAKKION, and it’s one that benefits TAKKION’s customers as well. 

“We have customers all across the country that we provide services for, and because we are now a RAP Sponsor, our customers are eligible for tax credits through the Inflation Reduction Act,” Allen stated. “The Inflation Reduction Act has a requirement for registered apprentices to be working on the job site, so in order for customers to be eligible for these credits, we have to be able to provide the apprenticeship labor for them.” 

Being a RAP Sponsor benefits TAKKION and its customers. But it also offers opportunities to those looking to begin a career in the wind industry. 

“This is an opportunity for anybody that is transitioning out of the military into civilian careers,” Allen shared. “We’re able to advertise our apprenticeship program with the Veterans Commission. It also offers an opportunity to graduating high school seniors, giving them the chance to enter into a trade and learn those skills, as opposed to taking out loans and going to college. They can immediately enter the workforce, get the training they need, provided by us, and also get paid while they’re doing it.” 

Becoming a RAP Sponsor is an incredible achievement for TAKKION; it’s one that benefits all parties involved, and it just further proves that TAKKION is committed to being one of the most successful, innovative companies in the wind industry. 

“It shows that TAKKION as a whole is leading the industry,” Allen said. “We strive to be an industry leader, and by becoming recognized as a Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsor in two states, we are one of the first companies in our industry that is able to offer apprenticeship labor to our customers.”

RENEW ISO Audit

In October of 2022, the Remanufacturing Division of RENEW Energy received its ISO9001 Certification. 

ISO9001 Certification is, according to its website, “a set of five quality management systems standards that help organizations ensure they meet customer and other stakeholder needs within statutory and regulatory requirements related to a product or service.”

RENEW Energy accomplished its ISO9001 Certification last year. This is a major accomplishment for the Remanufacturing Division because it is the first division of the company to receive this certification. But the most challenging part about receiving this certification isn’t getting it, it’s keeping it. According to the results of the audit, that’s exactly what RENEW has done.

“In regards to the ISO certification, initially last year we did the registration audit,” said Paul Terwee, the QC Manager for RENEW’s Remanufacturing Division. “This year, it was a recertification audit, just to make sure that everything they noticed in the first audit is still what we’re doing. It’s to make sure that we’re still following all of the processes and procedures that we have in place, keeping all of the necessary documentation to prove good quality, and making sure that there were no errors or, if there were errors, that we took the necessary actions to correct them.” 

The audit was done by a third-party auditing firm called IMSM. IMSM, per its website, “provides expert consultancy for certification of your business. By becoming ISO certified, your business gains a similar level of international recognition by meeting the standards that are important to your industry. It shows commitment to those standards. It’s a commitment that can be recognized by potential customers, existing customers, and your staff.” 

RENEW Energy is extremely committed to constantly improving, constantly evolving, and constantly innovating. Right now, RENEW’s Remanufacturing Division is the first division of the company to be ISO9001 certified, but eventually, the entire company aims to be certified. 

According to the ISO90001 Audit Checklist, the Remanufacturing Division was required to provide a number of different documents, including quality manual and procedural documents, quality policies, training plans, and more. They were also required to ensure that their organization and responsibilities are up to date. Additionally, they were required to provide a review of organizational risks, opportunities, and more. 

Most importantly, the Remanufacturing Division was required to provide a review of quality objectives, ensuring that they have been met. They were also required to provide evidence of the effectiveness of: 

  • Training provided for personnel
  • Corrective and preventative measures arising from internal audits
  • Non-conformance control
  • Customer complaints.

“What this entire process means is that we’re following all procedures and that we have everything documented and presentable for our customers,” Terwee stated. “Really, the entire point of this is for our customers. None of them require us to have this certification, but it really gives them peace of mind. If there are ever any issues with the components that we send them, we will have documentation, and we’ll have traceability. We’ll be able to find out what went wrong, where it went wrong, and we will implement actions to make sure that the issue doesn’t happen again in the future. It’s very customer-focused.”

That is the purpose of everything the Remanufacturing Division does. It’s the purpose of everything RENEW does, and it’s the purpose of everything Takkion as a whole does – to ensure their customers are getting the very best service and products available. 

“It shows that we’re really taking this seriously,” Terwee said. “And it proves that this wasn’t a case of getting certified initially and then putting it on the back burner. Quality is still at the forefront of our minds, and it always will be. And this shows that we’re taking actions every day to improve and strengthen our quality.”

Airway Services Trainer Spotlight: Jared Click

Name: Jared Click

Title: Lead Trainer

Tenure: 13 years

Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, playing golf, and, most importantly, his wife and two children.

Bio: Jared Click likes teaching. It’s in his blood; both of his parents worked for the public school system before they retired. That love, that passion for teaching, was passed on to their son, and now, for Airway Services, that’s exactly what Click does. He teaches. He trains. And he makes his team better. 

Click began working for Airway Services in September of 2010. At first, he worked as a technician. But after a year, he became a trainer. 

“I got about a week’s worth of training when I started working at Airway,” Click said. “Then I flew up to Minnesota and did a couple of projects up there and in North Dakota. I traveled around as a technician for a little over a year, and then I got word that we were going to create a training department for Airway. Airway has done a great job growing with the industry training needs, and that’s what it did in this case.”

Today, the training department of Airway Services is impeccable. It’s one of, if not the most important aspect of Airway Services, and it is fundamental to every other service that the company performs. 

A big reason for that is because of Click and his contemporaries. 

“I started training in 2011,” Click said. “So I’ve been here for about 12 years. Myself and one of our other trainers were the first to do GWO (Global Wind Organization) Training here in the U.S. through Siemens training.” 

GWO is the absolute benchmark of safety training in the wind industry, and Airway, along with all of the other Takkion companies, lead the way in every aspect of GWO training. 

“My title is that of a lead trainer,” Click shared. “So my responsibilities are just making sure that all of the other trainers have what they need, that we have a schedule set, that we have all of the supplies and the materials that we need, and that we keep up with the GWO curriculum and standards.” 

Click said that the GWO curriculum changes every year and sometimes twice a year. So it’s important to constantly be aware of what changes and what doesn’t. Click stated that, in his position, he teaches basic technical training, basic safety training, and controlled hazardous energy. Those are the three primary focuses, but, of course, there’s always more to the job than meets the eye. That’s one of the things that Click loves about the gig. 

“We have a strong team here that’s really doing the majority of these trainings,” he offered. “I’m just trying to be there to support our instructors.”

Click is the only Lead Trainer for Airway at the moment, and he has a team of seven other trainers – all of whom work tirelessly to ensure the safety of the rest of their team. 

“Safety is the most important thing for us,” he stated. “We get very personal with everyone as far as families go, and we try to make them understand that there’s something bigger at home that they need to get back to. And it’s when you make it personal for them, reminding them to come home to their kids or their significant others, that it really hits home for them. We show them that there’s a bigger picture; there are more important things than work. And if we can hit that, if we can get them to understand that, yes, work is important and the quality of our work and customer service is of the utmost importance – but if you’re not safe and you can’t come home for the most important things for you, then you shouldn’t be working in this industry. Because it’s dangerous.” 

Click takes safety very, very seriously. All of the trainers, technicians, managers, and everybody else takes the safety aspect very seriously because safety is, without question, the most important part of what they do. 

Click said the team takes care of each other every day and that they really, really care about each other. 

“My favorite part of the job is working with our team,” he shared. “We get along really well. Looking from the outside in, you’d think we’ve known each other for 10-plus years. And some of these guys, I have known for 10-plus years. We’re a very close-knit group of instructors, along with the office staff as well. But working with our team is my favorite part of the job.” 

Click’s other favorite part is, of course, the job itself. Click believes he was born to teach, and that’s what he gets to do, day in and day out. 

“It’s actually something that I really look back on and smile,” he stated. “I was originally going to school for kinesiology, but also to be a coach. I wanted to be a coach my whole life. My father was a coach. I enjoy teaching people things, and I enjoy that process of seeing the lightbulb go off in their head and seeing the progression of somebody figuring out whatever we’re working on. That’s what I enjoy – sharing that information, sharing that knowledge, and passing it on to somebody else.”

For 12 years, that is what Jared Click has been doing. He’s the Lead Trainer for a reason, and that reason is because he is the absolute best of the best. 

At least, that’s what Dustin Jenson, the Director of Safety & Training for Airway Services, believes. 

“Jared’s 13-year career with the company has been a testament to his passion for teaching others,” Jenson said. “He was the company’s original full-time safety trainer, which provided him the opportunity to lend his talent to the development of Airway Services’ training program from the ground up.  He has seen safety practices and techniques evolve over almost a decade-and-a-half, a unique perspective few trainers in our industry possess. Over the years, Jared has forged positive relationships with industry leaders, customers, and suppliers, showing a level of dedication to not only improving our training program but shaping the workforce in the renewable energy industry as a whole.  Jared has a way of genuinely connecting with others that fosters the development of skills while forging positive, meaningful relationships along the way.” 

And those qualities are ones that, well…they’re ones you just can’t teach.

RENEW Energy’s Partnership with Technical Colleges and Universities

Strategic workforce planning involves having the right people with the right skills at the right time.  Partnering with technical colleges and universities throughout the nation has proven to be a successful talent acquisition strategy for RENEW, opening a large and diverse applicant pool. 

Tasia Dass, Senior Recruiter, and Micah Noteboom, Technical Recruiter, are two of RENEW’s “People Leaders” dedicated to expanding these relationships and programs. 

Tasia and Micah partner with operations managers to develop a recruitment calendar, where they divide and conquer to attend career fairs, give employer introductions, conduct on-site interviews, host shop tours, and sponsor events across a network of schools.  These activities allow students to get to know the brands, comprehensive service offerings, and career opportunities across all TAKKION companies. 

Having both human resources and operations present at these events sets RENEW up for successful interactions.  HR can tell the story, showcase key openings, and get students excited about the differences they can make in the energy sector, while operations can speak to the technical specifics and what “a day in the life of a wind (or) solar technician” really looks like.   

“The opportunities for these students are endless, but the schools themselves benefit from the partnership as well,” Dass said. “Our leadership team has served on a number of advisory boards and helped provide industry-specific standards to be incorporated into their curriculum.  Our summer industry event raises between $10-$15K annually to give back to local technical colleges for workforce development.”

Through these social connections across the nation, RENEW averages 20-30 interns per year. Noteboom shared, “Our internship program is mutually beneficial to the student and our company.  We are able to see if they would be a good cultural and technical fit once they finish school.  While on the flip side, the student can also get a feel for our industry, the job scope, and determine whether that’s a career fit for them in the long run.”

Interns get paired with seasoned technicians for mentorship, safety, and hands-on experience.  Once the internship (typically three (3) months in duration or coinciding with the respective school schedule) is complete, managers work with HR to determine which individuals will receive a full-time offer.  “We have multiple team members in managerial roles that have started as interns with our company.  It’s exciting to see their growth and development first-hand,” Dass said.  “Our strong and positive reputation in the industry, along with our employee referrals, helps spark a ton of interest in our internship and career opportunities.”

As customer needs change, so does workforce planning.  As new facilities are built, new potential partnerships are identified.  Most recently, the addition of RENEW Enid Remanufacturing has created some new, exciting partnerships for building the future workforce in Oklahoma. 

TAKKION Participates in ‘Meals of Hope’

Recently, TAKKION staff and management participated in something that is near and dear to our hearts. It’s called Meals of Hope, and it was an opportunity to give back to the community that we love so much. 

Meals of Hope, according to their website, is a nonprofit organization 501(c)(3) that is committed to bringing people together to fight the hunger epidemic. 

Meals of Hope was founded in 2007, and since its inception, it has packed over 80 million meals across the country. These meals were then donated to communities in need. 

Meals of Hope stated that they only have a staff of 18 people, but they’ve had more than 30,000 volunteers. 

TAKKION made up some of those volunteers on Saturday, August 26, 2023, as several members of our team, their family & friends woke up early to pack more than 50,000 meals for members of our community who are in need. 

It was truly a sight to behold, and it was something that we will not soon forget. 

“It’s the belief that when we’re blessed and fortunate in our success, whether individually or as an organization, that it’s our obligation to pass on blessings to those less fortunate than us,” said Shana Anderson, the Chief of Staff for TAKKION. “Especially when it comes to the wellbeing of children. They are our next generation, and they take the lead from our example. Being in a state of hunger, as a child, is unfathomable, as they don’t have the understanding or resources to solve it.”

Food insecurity, especially with children, is a real issue, even in Wyoming. While politicians argue about whether or not to offer free or reduced school lunches to students, it is up to us to do all that we can to ensure that no child goes hungry. Not on our watch. 

The meals that TAKKION packed stayed within Wyoming and were equally distributed to various food pantries and organizations in Casper, Wyoming. 

“We need to continue to show up for each other and take the necessary steps to bring the community what it needs when we have the capability or resources available to us,” Anderson stated. “The Meals of Hope organization gives us the resources. It just needs the capable hands and time from individuals to make it a reality.” 

On that Saturday in August, that reality came true. Several representatives of TAKKION, their families, and friends gathered to pack meals and offer just a little bit of hope to those in the community who need it. 

“This event was a great time to come together as an organization and inspire one another to do more than we think we’re capable of for someone other than ourselves,” Anderson said. “It takes us out of the daily work grind to interact with one another on a personal level and improve our grassroots development for a great cause!” 

TAKKION cares about its community. We live here, we work here, we love… here, and we serve here. This was an opportunity for us to give just a little bit of our time and energy to benefit a good cause and, most importantly, to help feed the hungry. And there is no better feeling than that. 

“We release monthly grassroots initiatives to develop each other with the proper social, cultural, and economic tools in advancing the well-being of our personnel & organization,” Anderson said. “This event just puts those grassroots initiatives into action. The inspiration from a selfless good deed is tremendous. Why would we not continue to chase that inspiration on a daily basis & be the change we wish to see around us. Taking action..towards progress.” 

Takkion expresses gratitude to all the volunteers for their support in making the event a success and contributing to a great cause.

Airway Services Recognizes Hayden Walters

At Airway Services, safety is the absolute top priority. Airway Services provides its employees with extensive training – not just on how to avoid accidents, but on how to respond to accidents should they occur. 

Such was the case recently when one of Airway Services’ technicians performed immediate first aid to an injured technician. 

Hayden Walters was working alongside another technician when the technician suddenly got injured at the top of a wind tower. 

According to David Bonilla, the Field Supervisor for Airway Services, the technician had climbed into the nose cone of the wind tower in order to perform some tension work. While doing so, part of his wrist was exposed, and rubbed up against a blade bolt, which resulted in a puncture wound to his hand and wrist. The injury immediately started bleeding, profusely. Even more alarming was the fact that the injury was located in an area near multiple veins, meaning the risk of significant blood loss was high. 

Walters immediately leapt into action. 

“Hayden responded to the situation quickly, providing first aid to the injured tech,” Bonilla stated. “He was able to address the situation calmly and provide the proper treatment, stopping the bleeding and getting his teammate down tower.” 

One of the most important things that Airway Services teaches its technicians during training is the importance of staying calm. This is something that’s easy to do in hypothetical situations but, in reality, it’s a whole different story. Still, Walters was able to maintain his composure and was able to help keep the other technician calm as well. 

“Hayden really took charge,” Bonilla offered. “He got the cut covered up quickly; he properly cleaned the injury and patched it up quickly, getting the bleeding to stop so that he could properly get him out of the tower. He went through all the steps, just how he’s supposed to. He did a good job and I’m pretty sure it only took him about eight minutes to get it patched up and get him onto the lift, and then get him down the tower.” 

Bonilla said that Walters immediately called Dustin Walton, as is protocol. Bonilla himself was alerted as well and, by the time he got to the site, the technician was already completely patched up and was sitting in a truck, awaiting transportation to the clinic to get stitches. The entire process took about 15 minutes.

It was a scary situation that could have ended up a lot worse, if not for Walters’ quick thinking and the training that he received. 

This story illustrates just how important the training program is; it illustrates just how important safety is. 

“It’s number one,” Bonilla stated. “Absolutely. A lot of guys value their work ethic and how much they can get done in a day. Or they value their experience. But what ‘s important to us at Airway Services is the ability to know how to deal with a situation and being aware of your surroundings; knowing where your first-aid kit is and what the steps are.”

There is a procedure that has to be followed in instances such as this, and Walters followed it to a tee.

“A lot of guys in other companies will get hurt and they won’t say anything, or somebody won’t follow the correct procedure,” Bonilla offered. “They’ll just go sit in the truck or whatever. But for Hayden to step up and make sure that it was done properly, for him to make sure that the technician was treated the way he needed to be treated, was very, very good. He made sure that his coworker was taken care of. For me, safety is absolutely number one and I believe that it’s a highlight of your skillset when you remember those things and you value your teammates and their wellbeing.” 

That’s exactly what Hayden Walters did and, for that, he deserves recognition. When these technicians ascend wind towers, they’re putting their lives in each others’ hands. Each and every day. You have to be able to trust your coworker and know that if something were to happen, that you were in good hands. Walters proved that training pays off and that safety is, was, and always will be the most important aspect of Airway Services. 

“Always expect the unexpected,” Bonilla said. “A lot of times, nothing will happen. But at the end of the day, you can’t control how your day goes and you need to be prepared for anything. We’re pretty safe here, but it’s not impossible for somebody to get hurt. We don’t want that to happen, but we’ve got to be totally prepared for it to happen. And Hayden was prepared. He stepped up to the plate and he hit a home run.”

Global Specialized Services Recognized for Industry Support and Dedication

Global Specialized Services recently received a Longevity Award from the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association. SC&RA is an international organization comprised of more than 1,350 members from 46 nations. 

SC&RA’s Longevity Awards are presented to member companies for their longtime support and dedication to the Association and its mission. GSS was recognized with the 10-Year Award. 

GSS is committed to its mission of excellence. It keeps the company focused on providing customers with the highest quality service, overseen by their highly trained team and helmed by over 50 years of experience in the trucking industry. 

Firms across the United States and around the world submit dozens of entries to the SC&RA Awards competition each year. The Awards program recognizes worldwide excellence in the crane, rigging, and specialized transportation industry. 

GSS is proud to work with the top 25 asset owners and the top OEMs in North America. It is an affiliate of Transportation Partners & Logistics who, in 2012, operated the largest wind distribution hub in North America. 

GSS provides industry-leading solutions for heavy haul transportation and crane services, and it has done so for more than a decade. 

“The SC&RA has helped GSS lean on other members of the organization in the crane and transportation business to help complete projects quickly and efficiently for our vast customer base. I have had the unique pleasure of collaborating with a good number of individuals and companies from the SC&RA, successfully utilizing them as subcontractors under our scope on a number of different project. One this is clear and consistent among the SC&RA companies: Having a high level of integrity and get the job done safely and efficiently, whatever it takes. The SC&RA has been a vital part to our successful partnerships in the industry.”  Matt Orr, General Manager GSS

Global Specialized Services has, and will continue to serve their clients within their industries for years to come. They have what it takes to produce the highest quality experience when it comes to project site transportation and logistics. This award is proof of that. 

About SC&RAThe Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) is an international trade association of more than 1,350 members from 46 nations. Our members are involved in specialized transportation, crane and rigging operations, machinery moving and erecting, industrial maintenance, millwrighting, manufacturing, concrete pumping, and rental services. SC&RA helps members run more efficient and safer businesses by monitoring and affecting pending legislation and regulatory policies at the state and national levels and researching and reporting on safety concerns and best business practices. For more information, visit scranet.org.

TP&L – Paul Masters Celebrates 10 Years

Name: Paul Masters 

Title: Regional Manager

Tenure: 10 Years

Hobbies: Collecting Diecast Models, Photography, His Wife and Adopted Daughter

Bio: Paul Masters would follow his wife anywhere. When he met his wife, Julie, the two were working at the same company. It was love at first sight and both Paul and Julie knew that their lives would forever be intertwined. 

Which is why, when Julie began working for GSS, it wasn’t long before Paul found himself taking a job as a heavy haul truck driver for the company as well, and still remembers his first load hauled from St. Paul, AB. Canada to Las Vegas, NV.

“I’ve been driving a truck since I was 20 years old,” Masters said. “2007 is when I got into heavy haul truck driving. 

When he started working for GSS, his responsibilities included vehicle maintenance and vehicle inspections, being the shiniest truck on the road, and hauling various oversize loads, from D11’s/ heavy machinery, oil field, and coal mine related loads but mostly machine heads from Tehachapi California and Pensacola Florida to various wind farms across the country.  

It’s a job that Masters has loved for a long time and it’s one that he takes great pride in. 

“I love being the biggest truck on the road,” Masters laughed. “That’s always cool. A lot of people are enamored by oversized loads. They want to get a closer look at it. “I pride myself on having a well polished truck” . Nothing’s better than to have a clean truck driving down the road, a clean truck and trailer. It’s pretty neat.” 

Masters had a lot of pride for his truck, and for his job. But when he transferred from GSS to TP&L, he hung up his keys and became the Southern Regional Manager for the company. With that position, Masters oversees the day-to-day operations of several different yards, from Kansas to Oklahoma, Phoenix City, Alabama, and more. Luckily, he still gets to travel. He still gets to experience the thrill of the open road, and feels its a safer option than flying cause ” I can pull over if I were to have any engine troubles, whereas you ain’t pullin over with jet engine troubles”!   

The aspect of the job he thinks about most, is safety. And that’s one of the big reasons why he has remained with TP&L – they are also committed to ensuring the safety of their workers. 

“They’re genuinely concerned about safety,” Masters said. “We all are.  anybody in any type of leadership position. They’re genuinely concerned with safety issues. I mean, think about it; from the minute you get up in the morning and step out of the shower, you’ve got to think about safety until the minute you lay down in bed. Safety is paramount in just about everything you do, and at work for sure.”

Masters said another aspect of the job that he really appreciates is that his bosses don’t micromanage, yes there is oversight, but leave the day to day operations to managers.  Transportation Partners & Logistics hire the best employees and put them in the best roles; then, they leave the rest up to them. 

“In 2012, I came over to TP&L,” Masters said. “And Jim sent me to Florida to go run a crane. And I distinctly remember asking him, what if I don’t like this new job that he lined out for me? And he told me that, if I didn’t like it, he’d buy me a new truck and put him back on the road, if he wanted. But he was almost certain that I was going to like my new job with TP&L and I have. And I’m thankful to him for that. I’ll be forever grateful to Jim.” 

So if he had any advice for any new potential additions to the TP&L team; if he could tell any potential hires one thing, what would it be? 

“Stay the course, and the opportunities are endless.” 

Your Brother’s Keeper: Spotlight on Airway Services Training/ Safety Department

At Airway Services, as it is with all of the TAKKION companies, safety comes first. That’s not just a line, not just a cliché. It’s the number one priority throughout each of the TAKKION companies. 

Because of that, Airway Services invests a lot of time and a lot of money into its Safety Training program. 

“I think the wind industry as a whole has really recognized the need for more training than what it provided in the past” said Dusty Jenson, the Director of Safety and Training for Airway Services. “Of course, there are OSHA regulations that we are required to train on, but there are some other needs that we train our people to work in.” 

Those needs include growing their safety track record, hiring and training better instructors, finding the best ways to relay information, finding the best ways to go about teaching rescues, teaching first aid, and basic awareness courses like electrical safety, hydraulic safety, and more. 

One of the most recent, and most important, additions to the Safety and Training division of Airway Services has been its news trainer, Dustin Rader.

Rader joined the Airway team in July of 2022 and, in his short time with the company, he has proven himself to be an irreplaceable asset. 

Rader brings with him more than 13 years of experience as a trainer and much of his interest in the area of safety comes from a point in his career in which safety wasn’t a priority. 

“I had an incident early on in my wind career that geared me more towards safety; that geared me more towards documentation, that geared me more towards following the plans that are set in place,” Raider said. “If someone isn’t there to teach people the appropriate way to do things, if someone isn’t willing to put in the effort to show people how to keep themselves safe, or how to actually follow the plan, then what’s the point? If you keep cutting the corners off of a box, you end up with a circle. And you lose track of what the end goal is.” 

And, Rader said, the end goal at Airway Services is to make sure that its employees get home safely. Period. 

“It’s about going home the same way you showed up,” he said. “The goal is to go home with ten fingers and ten toes, just like how you showed up. I want people to be better when they leave. I want them to think about – especially from an advanced rescue standpoint – I want them to think about the situations that they can end up in and how they would be able to get themselves or their coworkers out of those situations, beforehand. I want to put it in their brain that they should be looking at all of these different paths for a rescue, prior to going into those spaces, or before the actual rescue comes up. I want them to have some type of thought process before it even comes up.” 

Like the old adage says, the best defense is a good offense and that’s a mantra that Airway Services takes very seriously. 

“As the industry grows and the GWO (Global Wind Organization) continues to grow, they’re rolling out more specific training modules,” Jenson said. “Over the last year, we’ve worked really hard to not only add to our basic safety and basic technical training, but we’ve added the Advanced Rescue and the Controlled Hazardous Energy modules – to not only comply with our customers’ requirements, but to better prepare our technicians to work in the environment that they’re going to work in.” 

Jenson said the goal is to better prepare technicians to perform rescues in challenging environments, such as up-tower rescues on wind turbines and with hazardous energy sources such as electricity, mechanical energy, and hydraulic energy.

In order to teach those types of rescues, Airway Services knew they needed to hire somebody with experience, with knowledge, and with the drive to pass on that experience and knowledge to others. 

They found that with Rader. 

“Dustin has been a valuable asset for us,” Jenson said. “He’s really done a lot as far as learning these techniques for the advanced rescues; to the point that he’s probably one of the most experienced advanced rescue trainers in the United States. That’s what he’s done, that’s what he’s specialized in, for the last several years. And so, to have him come onto the team and to bring that knowledge and that experience and that expertise to Airway…it’s just been incredible.” 

Rader’s teaching method is hands-on, in certain ways. But he also allows his trainees to make mistakes. Then, he explains how and why those mistakes were made, and offers ideas on how to avoid them in the future. 

“I really push for involvement from the class,” Rader said. “I like getting them involved, getting them hands-on, and getting them repetitions with the equipment. I try not to teach a specific type of rescue; more just how the equipment works, how the gear works, and how you can use those pieces and parts together. And then I just open the door for them to start their rescue.” 

Both Jenson and Rader understand that safety is of the utmost importance at Airway Services – and they were hired to ensure that the rest of the company understands that as well. 

“Safety is definitely important,” Jenson stated. “In fact, it’s our first core value at Airway. We see the safety of people as our number one priority; making sure that our people come to work safely, but also leave safely at the end of every day. And so, we’ve really tried to give our people – our technicians, our guys in the field – the tools and the resources they are going to need to be able to work in these high-risk environments and to make sure that they go home to their families every day. That’s been our focus. It’s a focus and it’s deeply ingrained in just about everything we do, in every area of our business. I’d say it’s one of the most important things that we consider on a day-to-day basis.”  

Rader agrees. 

“If you don’t have safety on your mind, you’re in trouble,” he said. “There’s really no one looking over your shoulder when you’re out there. It’s not like you’re in a spot where you could be constantly monitored to ensure that you’re being safe. You don’t have somebody watching you. You have to take safety in. You have to learn these different rules. You have to learn these different techniques and keep yourself safe because it’s you and your partner out there. You guys are all you have. You have to be your brother’s keeper. There are no other options.”