BOC Success Stories
Find out why participants rate BOC as highly valuable.
Since MEEA began offering BOC in the Midwest, over 3,000 participants have been trained. Below is a list of BOC success stories highlighting individual experiences with BOC training and the impact it has had on each facility, specifically how BOC training has helped improve day-to-day operations and maintenance and reduced energy consumption. These success stories showcase the energy savings achieved through better operations and maintenance, how immediate improvements can be realized with little or no capital investment and the positive impact of professional development on program participants.
Please click on the success story for more information.
Steve Wagner, Participant, Missouri Office of Administration—
After 15 years in building operations, the BOC training was a great refresher course on things that I do not come across everyday and a great source of information on new technologies. I was really impressed by the overall knowledge of the instructors and the wide range of topics that the program covered. We were already getting involved in efficiency programs in state office buildings and BOC training goes hand-in-hand with our energy efficiency implementations. Since taking BOC, we’ve upgraded our lighting and HVAC systems and have noticed a shift in the amount of energy that our building consumes.
After taking BOC, I made sure that the other four general managers also took the program. We had a couple of new managers that had just started working for the state and were new to building operations and BOC helped them get started in the field. It gives them the knowledge base that helps them make better decisions.
Matt Foster, Participant, Murphy Company—
We are a mechanical contractor that specializes in energy efficiency projects for our clients, so I decided to take the BOC class as an introduction to building operations and conservation. It has helped us out quite a bit. As we implement some of the things that we learned in the class, our own building is becoming more efficient and we have used it as a springboard to start an internal program to share the information with the others in our company. BOC allows us to be more successful when submitting proposals and helps us serve our clients better. We can now advise them on how to be more energy efficient. It was also a networking opportunity for us and we have come across some good opportunities.
While I am involved in the design of the HVAC for commercial buildings, I am also getting involved in the energy efficiency side as well, based on some of my experiences with the BOC training course.
The value of the course is that it gives the building operators and owners an overview of the entire building and allows people to learn every single aspect of the building and how the systems work together. This results in real savings.
Nortech Systems—Facilities engineer Greg Pierce has overseen several significant energy efficiency projects at Nortech Systems’ Bemidji facility. >> Click Here for an In-Depth Case Study.
Denis Lechowicz, Participant, Chicago Public Schools—
I thought that BOC training would be very interesting. There was a lot of refresher information as well as new ideas and technologies, which impressed me most. BOC shows you how you can actually save money by becoming more efficient (retrofitting lights, installing fluorescent lamps, etc.).
I have been telling other people about the benefits of BOC and I would like to get it offered just for our local union. It is great for my resume. My union paid for the course, but I might have taken it on my own and paid for it myself if I had to. I thought it was that valuable. A lot of it was review, but some information was new. I have been doing this for 26 years and the refresher courses are always helpful.
Riddle Elementary School—
Riddle Elementary is one of five facilities operated by the Mattoon Community Unit School District #2 in a rural Illinois community of 20,000 residents. Riddle Principal Bruce Barnard and his staff strive to create a safe, healthy environment supporting the district’s goal of providing a quality education.
Head Custodian Jeff Jean and Principal Barnard see the BOC program as an excellent way to make improvements to the physical environment of the building through better operations and maintenance. In addition to creating a healthier school environment, Jeff’s BOC training has given him more confidence on the job along with the ability to make the building more energy efficient.
Nick Lee, Participant, Rush University Medical Center—
I have been in building engineering for 35 years and what attracted me to the BOC program was the energy efficiency aspect and the fact that the certification is accepted in 20 states. I think that this course gives us the tools to take on more responsibility within our organization and make an impact on its energy consumption.
We try to be energy efficient here anyway and taking the BOC course is part of these efforts. It has made me more aware of the new technologies available. The instructors are very knowledgeable and they give you a real world-view of the things that you are learning. They are experts in the industry and their work history is such that they are familiar with the theories and real world experience.
Taking the BOC course allows us to speak with more confidence. To communicate you should be up on the terminology and those courses help you develop the language needed to communicate well. Even in my case where I have been in the industry for 30+ years, I learned a number of things from the BOC course. You've got to have a pretty narrow mind if you think you can’t learn anything from BOC.
The class gives you the tools to make changes for the better within your organization, and at the same time, it has a positive affect on your organization’s bottom line.
Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center—
SBLHC in Mattoon, Illinois, was named one of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work” in 2005, due in part to its commitment to the professional development of its employees. Richard Shelton, Facility Services Director, and Dennis Baker, SBLHC Energy Center Supervisor, know this firsthand. At the recommendation of Director Shelton, Dennis and other facility engineers enrolled in BOC training.
Besides offering personally rewarding professional development, the training has helped Dennis develop a Utility Management Manual that is used to train new employees and serves as a reference for current employees. In addition to detailing operations and maintenance procedures, the manual covers important environmental health and safety regulations.
Sheryl Joy, Supervisor, SciTech Museum—
Chris was hired as a building manager for our museum, which is housed in a building that was built around 1938 as part of the WPA. It is very old with lots of maintenance issues, so we decided to send him to BOC so he could learn as much as possible. BOC gave him a touch of everything that you would encounter in managing a building. He loves this building and he puts his heart and soul into it. After taking BOC, his abilities have increased and he is able to do more within our organization so we don't have to hire outside contractors to do maintenance work. That saves us time and money. Going through the course helped him pick up all of these skills. As with a lot of old buildings, you have to know how to maintain and preserve it.
Through the BOC training program, you can gain a lot of things that can help you be more efficient in the job that you’re doing. You can also hone in on some of the things that you already know but want in-depth information on. If someone is efficient in his job and really knows what he is doing, it can really save the company money.
Bill Roberts, Participant, Shedd Aquarium—
As a Life Support Operator at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, it's my responsibility to provide the best possible environment for the more than 25,000 aquatic and terrestrial animals that call the Aquarium their home. As one of the world’s largest and most diverse aquariums, Shedd has been “wowing” millions of guests since 1930, and as a key member of the Shedd team, it’s my job to ensure that Shedd continues in its long-standing tradition of connecting guests with the underwater world for many more years to come. It's also my responsibility to ensure that the Shedd continues to be a good steward of the earth's resources by operating in an energy efficient and environmentally-friendly manner.
One of the great things about the Shedd Aquarium is its commitment to its employees and their professional development. As I searched for training specifically geared toward my field, I discovered the Building Operator Certification program (BOC) offered by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA). Shedd recognized the value of being BOC training and certified, and without hesitation, they supported me and my colleague, Operator III Mike Petty, in our BOC certification.
The BOC program is great and I felt the teachers were exceptional. The in-depth training prepares participants for the types of opportunities and challenges that actually take place every day within a participant’s own profession. The trainers are clearly experts in their field and gave us the resources to initiate successful maintenance programs at our organizations. They offered a lot of insight and were able to answer any questions thoroughly. Through examples, we learned how to implement numerous programs that were customized to Shedd, but can apply to any organization – which is the key to BOC training.
As someone who continues to partake in professional development, I have participated in other programs; however, I was amazed, and pleased, at the high-level level of information that the BOC program provided. Both Mike and I agreed that the value and caliber of the program are second to none.
Because of BOC training, I now personally have a greater understanding of how I might help strengthen our organization's goals. Through a more comprehensive understanding of theory behind systems, I learned crucial skills that will help me with my job and consequently, help Shedd. I also gained an overall understanding of the importance of energy efficiency and now apply my new knowledge to Shedd’s commitment to energy savings.
Over the years our organization has achieved greater energy efficiency through maintenance and other programs, but I believe though the BOC training, both Mike and I can better contribute to ensuring we use our resources more efficiently and strengthen Shedd’s commitment to saving energy and the environment.
Mary Inciardi, Supervisor, ShoreBank Facility Services—
Our ongoing commitment to reducing our energy costs and environmental impacts fostered our interest in participating in the BOC program. The class proved an excellent forum for gaining a better understanding of the industry's latest equipment, better managing our utility costs, and improving preventive maintenance procedures that we ended up enrolling the entire staff.
The program has been instrumental in not only helping the building engineers' to identify and troubleshoot problems but also for choosing solutions that save energy, reduce costs and create a healthier workplace. In fact, it has inspired them to conduct additional research and discover new materials from various vendors and agencies to ensure "best practices" that will lead to further internal improvements. It is easy to see why we recommend this class to others!
Doug Coobs, Participant, St. Ambrose University—
I saw the BOC course as an opportunity to expand my horizons and a way to get involved in the industry. I come from an automotive repair background and was new to addressing the repair and maintenance of a building versus that of a car. It was a good check of my knowledge and a way to get involved in the industry.
I have used my BOC training as a resource to make decisions on our equipment. It is great information and provides support for becoming more efficient, especially when you're working to convince those that make the budgetary decisions. It backed up what I had for knowledge and how it should be applied and gives you proof to back up your decisions. On a personal level, it has allowed me to step forward in my company with authority. It either reinforces what you believe and do already or it gives you an avenue to better what you’re doing and evaluate your building and improve it. It was a very positive class.
Mike Dobson, Participant and a Supervisor, State of Illinois Central Management Service—
Our company recently incorporated a number of other agencies and there was a wide range of skill sets among the facility staff. We wanted to bring everyone up to the same level of operating skills, so we sent all of the new employees, about 20 staff members, through the BOC program.
We certainly believe that this is a valuable program. The course gave me the ability to speak to my supervisors better and it gave my employees the tools to report to me with more confidence. They now take a more aggressive role and are better able to handle the changes when you begin to make these kinds of proactive changes. When you send someone to a class like this, not only do you feel the impact right away, but you feel it on a day-to-day basis.
Waubonsie Valley High School—
WVHS in Aurora, Illinois, is more than just a school. A variety of functional spaces—including a theater, field house, and swimming pool—are open year-round and used by community residents as well as the school’s 3,000 students. The complexity of the building structure and the scheduling of diverse activities complicate maintenance and operations, making it difficult for facility engineers to control energy use.
Jim Jansky, WVHS Facility Manager, enrolled in the BOC training program because he wanted to reduce energy costs at the school by learning more about facility operations, building system interactions, and their effect on energy use—in short, to better manage energy consumption.
Al Parrella, Participant, Western Lake Superior Sanitary District —
Because I work in a waste management facility, keeping up with ventilation standards is very important. BOC helps me to stay up on the standards and reduce our energy consumption while ensuring that employees are safe and comfortable.
It’s an education and a mind-opening experience, and it has helped me professionally. Now I can quote standards and prevent missteps. After taking the BOC course I am on a firm footing to make decisions, am more secure in the decisions I make, and I know where to go to get the standards. In general, it has made me a more responsible building manager. I also had a lot of fun there--it was a blast.
The whole course was excellent and it was a great opportunity to learn how to do things the right way and save money at the same time. If you take the BOC course you will spend money one time, but you will make the money back again and again. You will make money on this course. It pays for itself and then some.
BOC is the kind of subject matter I like--it affects you every day, it's relevant, and you can use what you learn. What’s not to like about it?