Baker and Sons

Baker and Sons

Safety Training for Small Business
A little bit of safety training can help expand a business quickly.
Arlington Baker had been in the painting business for most of his life. In the year 2000, Baker had bid on a painting job for an apartment complex. He was told he had to be certified in lead-based paint before he was eligible to bid on the job.

At first, it seemed to be a hassle to take the training, but Arlington and his sons were very surprised on how much they enjoyed the classes they took at Metro Technology Centers. He said, "We were surprised at how many risks are associated with lead-based poisoning from paint. We have since learned to take more protective measures. Lead exists in so many areas that people are unaware. For instance, a ceramic coffee cup you drink out of every day may contain lead-based paint." Lead can be a silent hazard in homes and workplaces. "We also want to be more environmentally conscious in our work," said Baker.

For $300 and two days of training at Metro Tech, Baker and Sons were able to receive certification by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since receiving certification, Baker and Sons has received many more contracts and possibly government contracts in the future. Several of their contracts have been received from the City of Oklahoma City. Next they plan to take more business development classes. Arlington said, "The more you can learn, the better for your business."

Metro Technology Centers is the only technology center in Oklahoma accredited by the ODEQ. Since 2002, Metro Tech has provided lead-based paint training to 39 ODEQ-certified firms , 5 Native American tribes and over 250 individuals. Lead-based paint classes are available for abatement supervisors, abatement workers, inspectors and risk assessors. See page 29 for more information.