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The Manson Learning Network: On Deck for 2022

2021 marked another admirable year for Manson having completed remarkable projects like the Berth 5 Expansion project at the Port of Port Arthur in Port Arthur, Texas, the Pier 8 Replacement project at Naval Base San Diego, and the South Pass Maintenance Dredging project on the Mississippi River. In addition to these feats, Team Manson logged more than 10,000 hours of learning events despite a year constrained by COVID-19. The connection of these two feats is no surprise for Manson Senior Vice President and West Coast Regional Manager Ryan King, who understands the importance of training. “Our future is based on training our people to be Marine Contractors; that is what makes us unique; that is our business,” Ryan explains. “If we don’t train our Manson people, our clients won’t buy into our expertise.”

While this is a notable feat, the Manson Learning Network understands that there are always opportunities to build our expertise.

Examining the statistics in this article, one would discover some interesting trends within Manson learning. Who would have guessed that, of the 1,933 class events that MLN launched in 2021, 6,748 participants attended. Craft training exceeded staff training by more than 2,500 hours. If you are interested in learning about Manson Learning Events in 2022 reach out to us at


If 2021 was an industrious year of training (despite the complications of COVID-19), 2022 is shaping up to be even more inspiring. The Project Management & Operations Program (formerly known as Manson University) is rolling out new and updated courses, including a fully remastered Cost Management (Module 3) and the first release of the Environmental, Health & Safety module, aimed at reinforcing Manson’s safety culture and the resources available to ensure safety. Also on the 2022 agenda will be Project Administration, Project Planning, and Federal Contracting courses.


Safety training will make a seismic shift in 2022 with more integrated partnering between EHS and the MLN. The first phase will be to properly classify all Manson personnel into Core Learning Requirements (CLR), which constitute the basic annual safety training for Manson employee groups. The objective of classifying our people is to ensure they receive the proper training based on the hazards they face in their jobs and not training they don’t need. More information on the CLRs will come out later this year.

In addition to CLR, there are major updates being made to our company-wide training programs for Rigging, Fall Protection, Fork-Lift Operation, and the Short Service Employee program. Each of these programs are important to ensuring safety but suffer from inconsistent application. Now these courses will be based on actual operational and regulatory needs and will be offered consistently across all Manson projects.


The final major component to safety training will be an overhaul of the formerly named Manson Learning System (MLS) the previous EHS safety training database. Over the years, the database has grown and now includes many more courses and records than just safety training. To keep pace with that change, that database is now called the Training Records & Experience System, or the T-REX. Coming changes to this system will make it easier to determine training requirements for individuals and teams, easier registration for classes, and better, more accurate recordkeeping as a result. A seismic shift indeed! You can find your training records in the T-REX by going to the MLN SharePoint site and selecting “Training Records.”

Among the many difficulties arising from the COVID pandemic was the severe reduction of in-person learning events. Those difficulties challenged Manson to adapt to new means of learning using new technologies. This past year, the MLN piloted virtual courses using our Adobe Connect platform. Similar to Zoom, Adobe Connect has many enhanced features for delivering live courses or webinars online. Virtual learning is advantageous when participants are located at multiple locations and the course does not require hands-on activities. For courses that do require in-person attendance, we will still conduct those events when and where they are needed. In the event that hands-on or virtual courses are unavailable, MLN will use computer-based training (CBT) courses. CBT is good for short bursts of training to reach learners anytime and anywhere. Like virtual and in-person courses, CBT courses will be deployed when the option makes sense and provides an advantage to the learner. The MLN aims to blend these three types of courses so that learning events are convenient, effective, and most accessible across the company.

The Manson Learning Network kicked off the first of five regional Career Development Pathways workshops at Manson's Seattle office. Pictured left to right: Josh Rudd, field engineer; John Stilwell, general superintendent ; Martin R. Johnson, superintendent; and Grayden L. Bennett, foreman.


In late 2021, our high-energy Learning Pathways project kicked off with support from Dr. Dorriah Rogers and Garret Autry of Paradyne Consulting Works. With nearly 90 Manson people participating at five workshops across the country, we set off to define learning pathways for 11 predominate positions in our Operations group. Learning Pathways will be the curriculum for each position that provides the means to acquire the knowledge and skills to be successful in that position. You can read more about the Learning Pathways on the opposite page.

Many of you have been regular attendees of the MLN Lunch & Learn Series hosted by Learning & Development Specialist Carey Shannon. Last year’s topics touched on a range of interests, from Zoom tips to project summaries and dredging operations of the RM White. In early 2022, we kicked off the year with a deep-dive of Manson’s newest and largest hopper dredge, FREDERICK PAUP. We hope all of you will continue joining us to discover more about Manson as the series progresses throughout the year.

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