We serve various industries by providing specialized training and skill development programs, with a focus on industrial sectors that require expertise in Electrical, Instrumentation, Process Control, and Automation. Typical industries include; Energy, Gas & Oil, Chemical Processing, Mining, Manufacturing, Food & Beverage, Aerospace, Defense, DOE, Large Laboratories, Building Facilities, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
At Orion Tech, we understand that navigating the intricate world of industrial automation and technology can be both exciting and challenging - especially in the current employment market with all the struggles that typical industrial plants face these days.
Our mission is to help our customers solve the skills problems that are hurting industry so badly.
To help provide more information and answers related to our services, we've created this FAQ page – a comprehensive resource designed to address your most common queries, offer expert insights, and empower you to make informed decisions about your teams developmental and training needs.
We encourage you to explore the contents of this page, and should you not find the answers you seek, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Your questions, feedback, and suggestions are invaluable to us as we continue to evolve and improve our services to meet the needs of industry.
Our company was founded by Mike Glass in 2000. Mike had taught in the collegiate world and for a large industrial training company, but after years of trying to fix the common weaknesses of both, he opted to form his own company.
Mike founded Orion Technical Solutions in order to deliver effective and hands-on training with real industrial equipment and to produce training that would truly help individuals and organizations succeed and improve.
At the core, Mike Glass is a TEACHER and his passion is helping people and teams succeed - So he founded Orion Technical Solutions with that purpose.
We offer both customized onsite training tailored to the client's specific needs, as well as public courses held at different locations across the USA. In addition, we offer select courses as Online courses with the addition of hands-on equipment that we ship to each student to help bring home the concepts in a practical way.
We primarily focus on delivering hands-on training in the electrical, instrumentation, and automation areas that we have noted the most consistent gaps across industry.
In addition to our public and onsite training courses, we also provide services such as:
Training program development
Curriculum and training material development
Employee screening assistance
Technician skills & competency assessments
Individualized coaching and mentoring services (offered to our major clients as part of overall skill building programs)
In short, we do anything that helps an organization improve the talent of their electrical, instrument, or automation personnel.
Yes, we provide assessment services to evaluate the technical proficiency of your workforce and can help establish detailed competency expectations and performance standards as part of that service.
Our competency expectation programs can help guide assessment and development activities even of your own (internal) peer assessors or of other 3rd party assessors.
In short - we can help set the target accurately in the instrument, electrical, and automation fields and can either perform the assessments or help your personnel setup to perform them, or help setup other 3rd party assessors if desired.
Each Orion Technical Instructor is certified and accredited appropriately with at least 2-3 decades of wide-ranging experience doing high level work in the crafts we teach. We are extremely selective in choosing Instructors. In addition to verifying necessary knowledge and skills, we ensure that our instructors are patient; are good communicators; treat everyone kindly and respectfully at all times; and have a demonstrated desire and history of helping others succeed.
Excellent Instructors are the life’s blood of any training company - and we plan to remain the best in the industry by having the best instructors. In order to do that, we must ensure that we treat our instructors appropriately so that we can acquire and maintain the top instructors in the field.
Unlike many larger training organizations who run their instructors ragged and eventually burn them out, Orion Technical Solutions ensures a quality work-life balance for our instructors and provides the necessary time off, so Instructors can maintain their enthusiasm in the classroom long term. We also provide the necessary training, support, and team atmosphere to help them succeed and continue to improve every week.
We hire instructor who have a demonstrated genuine passion for actually helping people learn and succeed (not for just being the smart guy at the front of the room). Since our 'company mission' is to help people and teams, those instructors who draw genuine joy from that part of the job will greatly enjoy the culture and ethos of Orion Technical Solutions - and for that reason, we seek out those individuals.
Indeed! We offer coaching and mentoring services to support the growth of your workforce. We can help you setup "Progress Plans" for your personnel. These progress plans can even be individualized based on the specific needs of each team member.
Our industry experts can provide coaching, mentoring, guidance, advice, training, tutoring, assessments and skill checks, and testing as needed to enhance individual and team performance.
The progress plans may include a combination of self-study (with guided programs); periodic spot checks (remote or onsite); tutoring (remote or onsite); final (or modular) assessment checks; or even written/practical exams, depending on the situation.
Yes, along with offering Customized Onsite Training courses, we also specialize in developing custom technical curricula and full training programs tailored to your organization's unique needs. We are uniquely capable of doing this very efficiently for most industries and can help setup full programs that provide tremendous ROI.
One of our successful programs is to help you ‘grow your own’ talent from within (you pick people you want to invest in, and we help develop them via a combination of training courses, mentoring, tutoring, and remote coursework). These programs vary based on the situation, so call us today to see how we can help.
Our training programs are designed to enhance the skill set and technical proficiency of your workforce. We don’t just “cover material” like some training providers - we personally strive to ensure each student gains maximum improvement in skills, and we gauge our performance largely based on the feedback, after students return.
The managers of the people who attend our training (as well as the students themselves) help us know how we are doing and what we can do better.
Ultimately, the objective of training needs to be improved performance in the field and that is what drives us. When we do our job well, it is measurable, and that makes it easy for our customers to justify spending money on our training service.
Orion Technical Solutions takes pride in its independence from equipment vendors or brands. We get no discounts or special deals on our training equipment. This ensures that their training is unbiased and free from sales pitches, providing clients with 100% honest and valuable insights. Mike Glass started Orion in 2000 with the vision of providing quality training and doing old fashioned ‘honest’ business, and those core values still drive us today!
You can easily reach out to us through our contact us page found on our website. We welcome inquiries and are ready to discuss how our services can address your specific needs and situation.
Unlike equipment vendors and large or corporate training organizations, we like to have our customers speak with the actual Instructor who would teach the applicable course(s) or develop applicable programs. We do this to ensure we can deliver what we promise and so we can provide the most accurate and effective recommendations possible to help you and or your organization succeed. We have found that ultimately “your success, is our success”.
YES! - We have begun to offer publicly available online courses for certain subject areas (Electricity and Instrumentation), and we can also provide closed-group online training in any of our course areas based on customer/organizational needs. These closed group online training programs are extremely flexible and adaptive to client needs. Contact us for more information and/or a quotation for closed group online training programs.
In order to ensure quality and value of our online courses, we have carefully included a hands-on component to our online training offerings to help ensure students are able to solidify and apply the concepts learned in a way that is useful in the field.
One of the things that distinguishes Orion Technical Solutions above the competition is how much time and thought we put into our training equipment. The course & equipment development process is extremely detailed and involved.
We don’t just throw some equipment together and have people play with it - we truly develop a plan, a purpose, and a strategy for every single hands-on exercise, and it is obvious when you see our training in action.
We use industrial grade equipment, but our training stations are downsized so it will fit on a typical classroom table top for convenience of learning. We have found that performing that lab exercises at the classroom table is extremely helpful to allow us to quickly bounce between covering a topic on the whiteboard, or answering a question, and jumping into hands-on labs. The goal of training is to connect the concepts with real world skills, and we find this approach to be tremendously helpful in that cause.
For an example of some of the equipment used in our courses; we use real Fluke multimeters, Fluke calibrators, Hart / TREX communicators, Rosemount transmitters, Allen Bradley 1756 series ControlLogix racks, and Logix Studio software; Common electrical components (not just simulations), and we even inject and cause realistic faults into our equipment to accommodate the troubleshooting objectives and lessons of each course.
This ensures what is learned is as realistic as possible and helps students connect the important concepts to the practical work.
Over the years, we’ve found this helps students remember the important concepts, problems, and solutions and produces maximum improvements back in the field (where it really matters).
Our headquarters is located in Idaho Falls, Idaho - but we provide training across the USA and in some cases Canada (or internationally through one of our affiliates).
We offer onsite training and ‘arranged group’ training anywhere needed - but our public courses are currently focused in Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, Louisiana. In 2024, we hope to also offer courses in: Mississippi/Alabama, California, Wyoming, Arizona, and possibly Florida and/or Tennessee/Virginia.
Our course development approach is based on developing key technical skills in the field. We don’t just copy a textbook (that is intended to be a reference anyway). Based on our expertise on the common weaknesses, gaps, and needs across industry, we develop a list of target objectives for a course and then we set about developing the hands-on labs and course materials that will help achieve those objectives.
The biggest difference you will notice in our training programs is that we don’t just copy the standard formats and outlines. Those obviously don’t work, or people wouldn’t still need training.
We focus heavily on ensuring students understand the concepts that cause the problems. Instead of droning on about details that are covered adequately in the references - we let the references do their job, and instead we focus our training efforts on the important concepts that need to be understood and on the areas that we know cause problems in the field and that will help the students better utilize resources such as manuals, prints, diagrams, etc..
We have decades of experience teaching people in groups and individually and that has helped us identify what works well with different people and what does not. It has helped refine and reshape our training approaches so that we don’t just ‘cover material’ - but we actually help people learn real skills that transfer back to the job.
Unlike some training providers, if we are charging for a full day of training, we deliver a full day.
Unlike some training vendors, who magically finish shortly after lunch very often - Orion Technical Solutions is going to provide the full quoted service and not skimp out on last day. Someone is paying for the training services and we feel that we need to make good use of that time and money...
In short: Don’t expect to be finished shortly after lunch in our courses - unless it was planned and that is what you paid for.
Our public courses typically start at 8am and end at 4 or 4:30pm and include an hour or more of what we call “open lab” time. This free time is after formal class time and allows students to experiment and help solidify things wherever needed and/or just to ask Instructor some specific questions on any areas they need some extra help on. We find this flexible time after class is extremely helpful for ensuring every student succeeds and gets maximum benefit from the training. For onsite training, we accommodate whatever the customer’s needs and requests and can include the open lab time in those as well (if desired).
We can help arrange a local training room (typically for much cheaper than large companies will be charged, and can even setup lunches, catering, snacks, and refreshments if desired).
Depending on course duration and volume of training, an onsite course can become a very good economical choice with as few as 4-6 students - but we still have to cover costs of travel, shipping, lodging, instructor travel and teaching time, etc.
In cases where a customer has very specific needs or equipment that they’d like included in the training, an onsite course may be the best value and best ROI, even if it is a bit more expensive.
We find that the total cost and headache of sending students to remote public training courses is often not worth the apparent money saved and often recommend that customers who want to train numerous people simply schedule a custom onsite course if they have more than 4 students - especially in any of our more advanced courses.
We have even split training days to 6 + 6 hours to allow split-shifts and teams a little time to still get work done in their respective shifts. This helps solve one of the problems with onsite training - getting people free to attend the training.
We provide a signed certificate of completion for students who complete our courses.
We have found that the accrediting agencies provide very little real value and have very little actual credibility - so we do not run our programs through them.
If a customer has a specific certification need for a large number of people (such as major WWT plants or other utilities) we can typically obtain necessary credentials to produce state sanctioned certificates that satisfy various entities or requirements. There would be an additional fee for this service.
It is true that our courses are typically somewhat longer than courses offered by our competitors.
Although we strive to keep courses as short as feasible, Our first objective is the effectiveness and value of our training. We strive to ensure we deliver solid value in each course and part of that is by making our courses long enough to accomplish the learning objectives of the course.
Instead of just quickly 'covering' some appealing 'bullet points', we strategically build our course to improve skills and performance in the field. Our courses are not the traditional rapid clicking PowerPoint presentations and busy-work type labs. In our courses, we build in the necessary time to explain and discuss topics and to allow students to see and apply the concepts in a realistic way. In short, it takes a certain amount of time, practice, and exposure to truly learn anything of value - and our mission is the actual learning.
So, although we strive to keep our courses as condensed as possible to maximize efficiency and reduce costs, we figure that if a company or individual is going to spend the time and money on a training program, they should expect to learn and grow from it and get something of value from their investment.
We caution managers and individuals seeking training to do their homework when selecting training options. If it looks too good to be true, or if it sounds a bit too 'turnkey' or unrealistic, ask the hard questions - and/or ask them if they offer a satisfaction guarantee.
Note - We do sometimes shorten parts of our Onsite courses based on customer applications & needs and based on the skill and experience levels of their personnel, but we advise our customers to heavily weigh the cost of cutting time out of a course. In some cases, it makes sense to shorten certain courses - based on the specific situation.