On April 6th, 2020 we got underway at CTI with our very first Pandemic Epidemic Disinfection Manager Certification . With a couple of laptops some covertly acquired webcams from the admin's offices; sorry Lynn! we were off to "zoom" with an entirely new type of audience awaiting us. By April, New York State had already been under the first shutdown and stay at home orders. The grim reality of this pandemic's toll in New York City a daily reminder that this was no longer just "China's or Italy's problem". As a training provider, Cornerstone was not allowed to hold in-person classes and the un-certainty that defined that time, didn't offer much promise for our industry, and It was not just our industry; I would quickly learn.
With in-person training being off the table we moved in the same direction most of the world was moving in; online-virtual-everything! Despite being a strong advocate and pursuer of more technology and connectivity in training classrooms way before this pandemic, I was not prepared for what we were about to encounter. Our very first online Pandemic/Epidemic Disinfection Manger class drew about 30+ students. With John Polito at the helm and an amazing curriculum built on solid industry practices developed by Mr, Polito and Dr, Dave Duford, we would see those attendance numbers grow, session after session.
Each new class in those early days of the pandemic and associated stay at home orders, were filled with so many different experiences.
The global reach of the online training classroom was something my experiences as a health and safety instructor had not truly prepared me for. Speaking to students in different parts of the U.S. and getting an almost real-time feel for where and how the spread of this pandemic was impacting those who found a simple recourse in googling "Covid-19 Certification" and found us. Meeting students from India, Russia, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, St Thomas, and (I can't forget Kamaal and his amazing team at Camp Lemonier) Djibouti Africa, was a reminder that this was a global problem that had everyone just looking for a way to fix their small part of that globe.
The ensuing days would introduce us to employers and employees of cleaning companies, remediation companies, schools and universities, nursing homes, real estate and property management, food and restaurant services, film and television professionals, churches, houses of worship and faith-based organizations, construction management firms, law enforcement, social services, and emergency housing services. It was apparent that every industry in every sector had and continues, to deal with this Pandemic's far-reaching effects. Each session brought new insights into different industries, but also stories of success and hardships and most importantly the connections.
NOT THOSE KIND OF CONNECTIONS
The rapid pace in which this pandemic has moved, especially in the final days of March 2020, left a lot of people looking for information. The daily CDC and WHO updates, what many local entities where saying, and what was present at almost any news or social media source was confusing for many and in some cases misleading for others. The "connections" came from the "ah-hah" moment students would make in our classes. Now please understand, we, over at CTI, where not leading the charge with this level of training by any means. Many training providers where providing the tools, and many had already been ,since well before Covid-19. Yet, the connections we were able help facilitate with our students made it more than just business as usual.
Years in the health and safety training business had placed the team and I, in the best place to help this vast new diverse workforce all seeking the same aims. Things like helping a small non-profit understand the applicability of OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard or explaining droplet diffusion differences between spray bottles and electrostatic sprayers to a career restaurant owner, made it evident niche safety and health training was at the forefront of this battle against the SARSCOV-2 virus. Information that we readily accepted as "common knowledge" among most of the students that usually come through our doors was sometimes a new revelation amongst the students appearing on our screens. Many times, it was the students making the revelations to us. During these uncertain and reconstituted times these sessions helped many get a sense of directed purpose, and camaraderie. Students from different parts of the country sharing information, resources, and even exchanging contact information for future networking was how many of these sessions ended. There was this sense of community and shared vision as business owners gave start-ups inside tips and shared experiences, Industrial Hygienists and career consultants gave valuable insights and direction to concerned parents and homemakers in our sessions. There was never a sense of guarded business interests, or proprietary posturing. We found in many classes a genuine desire to ensure that everyone left those classes equipped with what they needed to do their part in getting ahead of COVID-19.
Ten months later and our online training has grown quite successfully, the connections we have helped our students make in the challenges faced during this pandemic have helped us grow in the face of our own challenges. Looking back at just a few months and recalling how despite the confusion, fear, and uncertainty of this pandemic, we were given the opportunity to be one of many training providers that did their part and made the right people make the right connections. I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to the hundreds of students who chose CTI-Online during those times, and although nowhere near the end of this pandemic or our course offerings, it is our wish that we were instrumental in getting our amazing students closer to their goals in dealing with Covid-19 in their own small part of the globe. Thanks for letting us be a part of that journey.
For more information or to schedule any of our infectious pathogens’ disinfection courses visit us at https://www.ctienvironmental.com/covid-19-disinfection-certification.