Voyageurs National Park’s facility manager, Bill Carlson, was recently honored by the National Park Service. He was selected to be a mentor in the National Park Service’s Facility Manager Leaders Program, an educational program for new facility managers. The course of study prepares candidates to be leaders in responsible stewardship and facilities protection for the National Park Service. The curriculum is designed to develop and strengthen the knowledge of selected employees through a year-long education and training program that builds their capabilities in facility management, operations and maintenance, project management, stewardship, business management, supervision and leadership.
Carlson told us, “This is a very intense program with graduate-level exercises throughout the year. The training is completed through the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, at Indiana University.”
The program provides a mentor for each student. Students are placed with a mentor that can best help them with the areas where they need improvement. Bill Carlson is serving as a mentor for a new facility manager from Kenia Fjords National Park.
The students spend time at their mentor's park in order to learn about that park's unique challenges and best practices for success. The student from Kenia Fjords National Park also assisted Voyageurs National Park with their annual work plan.
The class will meet again in late October for a week-long training in Advanced Facility Management Practices. This training is beneficial for both the student and their mentor, as they have the opportunity to network and learn from other facilities managers, as well as learn the most up-to-date practices for success. A graduation ceremony in late April will occur for the students who complete all of the required training.
“This was a very talented and motivated group. It has been a privilege to be a part of it,” said Carlson.