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Addressing Workplace Realities
TD Magazine

Addressing Workplace Realities

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Rosendin: 2023 BEST Award Winner, #16

Employee performance, retention, and diversity continue to reign as top priorities at Rosendin, a century-old provider of electrical contracting services. Among the talent development initiatives launched last year were innovative courses in diversity, equity, and inclusion and active shooter awareness.


To help meet the challenges of delivering DEI training at the office and in the field, the L&D Center of Excellence co-launched (with another contractor) a monthly podcast that examines ways to optimize DEI environments. Experts share their insights, bolstered with access to CEOs, practitioners, and industry professionals.

The results were both immediate and heartening. Rosendin says staff now feel empowered to hold fellow employees and managers accountable to the company's pledge to create safe and inclusive workplaces. Follow-up engagement surveys reveal a 37 percent improvement in DEI-related perspectives.

As for the company's other innovative initiative, the increase in active shooter events within the US has propelled Rosendin to develop a formal training curriculum on dealing with such events. The content, designed in-house with help from a law enforcement safety professional, includes strategies for planning for a catastrophic event and identifying unusual behaviors of perpetrators. The training program also emphasizes insights into normal physiological reactions to stressful events, such as the body's "freeze" response.

In addition, the company created a dedicated team to conduct risk assessments and identify the proposed training initiative's goals and objectives. Elements include communication, collaboration, resources, CPR certifications, immediate response capabilities, and recovery plans. The program even provided a live active shooter simulation so employees could vividly experience such a scenario, including their psychological and physiological reactions.

Among Rosendin's priorities are attracting, developing, and retaining the industry's best and brightest individuals. For example, it aggressively recruits high school students and graduates with summer internships and other opportunities. Underscored at such events is an enticing message: that an appealing lifestyle and earnings potential accompany careers as a certified electrician.

The L&D team developed a companion program to bolster such initiatives. It created a pre-apprentice boot camp to directly recruit specified candidates targeted for acceptance into an electrical apprenticeship or electrical construction alternative training program.

The training camps, which take up to two weeks, emphasize essential skills that an accepted apprentice would learn over a more extended period. Students gain hands-on familiarity with construction tools, electrical components, and safety practices.


The intent is to create pools of candidates who can be productive on project sites immediately while they await acceptance into a regional apprenticeship program. The company reports that the initiative benefits the industry and assists existing sources of labor supply in lifting the number of suitable candidates into the program. (Rosendin does not control the acceptance of individuals into the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers' apprenticeship training programs, or where they will be assigned after acceptance.)

Another TD initiative, Fierce Conversations, is a two-part class assigned to managers. It builds on the connection between work, relationships, life, and the conversations that may arise between managers and employees in each area. Topics include enriching relationships, tackling challenges, team conversations, dynamic thinking for teams, high-stakes decision making, and implementing and executing initiatives.

View the entire list of 2023 BEST Award winners.

About the Author

Paul Harris is a freelance writer in Alexandria, Virginia.

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