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Waste Management Unveils Driver, Technician Training Center

The company opened its second facility to serve as a training hub for the Western and Central U.S. and Canada.

Waste Management (WM) introduced its second Driver and Technician Training Center in Glendale, Ariz., on June 20 complementing its first center in Fort Myers, Fla. The Arizona Training Center extends the company’s commitment to providing centralized training for drivers and technicians across North America.

The WM Arizona Training Center is located on a 13-acre property and includes a 30,000-square-foot maintenance shop, a 10-acre driver training course, classrooms, computer labs and technician workstations to simulate experiences at WM facilities. As part of the onboarding process, drivers and technicians attend a two-week immersive program led by skilled WM trainers. The program builds on the foundation of Waste Management’s Mission to Zero (M2Z) safety initiative—the pursuit of having zero unsafe actions, behaviors or conditions. Waste Management also provides nearby housing and catered meals during the training to welcome participants into the WM family.

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“Waste Management’s commitment to putting our people first is not just a catchphrase or slogan—we are focused on this as evidenced by our continued investment in the growth and development of our employees,” said Tamla Oates-Forney, WM chief human resources officer, in a statement. “We are differentiating ourselves with the frontline onboarding experience through our world-class Driver and Technician Training Centers.”

According to the company, the Arizona Training Center is an example of WM’s investment in a “safety and people first” culture. During the two-week training and development experience, drivers learn safety rules, procedures, vehicle inspections, safe lifting and U.S. Department of Transportation-required curriculum that provide scenarios reflective of day-to-day operations. Trainees spend their first week in the classroom learning and by week two transition to simulated driving courses.

Technicians learn the basics of hydraulics, electrical, preventive maintenance practices and safety procedures through two weeks of integrated classroom and hands-on learning at workstations.

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At the end of the two-week training course, drivers and technicians receive a comprehensive evaluation of performance prior to returning to their respective locations for additional on the job training programs.

Waste Management Training Centers help address the industry challenge of driver and fleet technician new-hire turnover, while also improving retention. The standardized training translates to better employee performance and a longer career with Waste Management, said the company.

The Arizona Training Center began welcoming WM drivers in late April and WM technicians in early June. At full capacity, the center expects to train and develop 2,500 drivers and 750 technicians a year.

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