PART 4: MasTec Tackles the LMS

How this utility infrastructure construction company designed and developed a customized learning management system (LMS) to manage its new training programs.

Throughout this year, Training magazine has covered the efforts of MasTec’s Utility Services Group to build a culture of learning from the ground up. We’ve followed its journey as it launched a U.S. Department of Labor certified lineman apprentice program and as it created a world-class new hire orientation training program. In this issue, we take a step back to learn how this utility infrastructure construction company designed and developed a customized learning management system (LMS) to manage its new training programs.

MasTec’s Utility Services Group (USG) identified early on the need for an LMS to serve as a foundation for the training and development initiatives it had planned. This was due to several factors. First, up until recently, the great majority of the training had been instructor led. Even when technology was utilized, it required a supervisor or instructor to proctor a DVD viewing session. Tracking participation and completion was even less efficient. Course completions were tracked via sign-in roster sheets, which had to be photocopied and placed into each employee’s file. MasTec was looking to change all of these things as the organization began one of its largest change initiatives ever: the build and implementation of an online LMS.

The first step in designing a training portal to support MasTec’s new training programs was to do a thorough needs analysis. What technology and functionality would be needed to support the new and forthcoming training initiatives? What were the unique needs or restrictions of the employees? What are the current and future pain points that must be solved? How will we be tracking and measuring success going forward? There were many questions to be answered before jumping into the waters, especially because most MasTec employees had never used an LMS and the introduction likely would be a bit of a shock.

The USG Employee Development team began by doing a stakeholder analysis. By considering who would need to be engaged in the process, how to partner with each of them, and what type of input they could offer, the team could ensure from the beginning that everyone would be ready for this change. From there, they began meeting with various stakeholders throughout the organization to answer these questions and more. They met with everyone—from safety team leaders and trainers to construction crew members across the country. They observed employees fulfilling their job duties and attending existing training classes. They made note of every need and wish list request made at all levels of the organization.

The team was determined to ensure it was building a robust solution that would meet the organization’s needs for years to come. Upon completion of this analysis and stakeholder phase, the team identified four high-level goals. All design components would be applied toward one of these four goals:

  1. Increase accessibility of training content
  2. Provide flexibility and variety in how training is conducted and completed
  3. Improve the process of registering and approving employees for training
  4. Create reporting tools that give visibility to training requirements, participation, and completion

MasTec’s Utility Services Group employees are spread throughout the country. While some work in big cities and report in to well-networked offices, others work in more desolate, rural locations. This made increased accessibility of training content and flexibility of delivery a must.

Also, because there is a strong need for hands-on training in the utility construction industry, e-learning is never going to completely replace instructor-led training sessions at MasTec. However, even the instructor-led courses will benefit from the LMS, due to the improved scheduling capabilities and reporting functionality. It’s all about modality options and an enhanced ability to track training.

With the criteria for success set, the team created and launched a new training portal called the USG Learning Center. This LMS now serves as the one-stop shop for all of the organization’s training functions. Employees can log in from any location where they have access to the Internet. This addresses the concern many had about their proximity to a MasTec office. Once they log in, they’re within a click or two from the New Employee Training curriculum, the entire library of e-learnings and videos, and the schedule of instructor-led training courses being offered. Employees also can access the company’s Safety Training Bulletins and apply for the U.S. Department of Labor certified lineman apprentice program.

Leaders within the organization are also just a click or two away from reports highlighting the training requirements and completions for their direct reports. Supervisors can access records that display course completion dates, quiz scores, and potential expiration dates for any training their employees have completed.

Although learning management systems are standard fare in many industries, this implementation is somewhat revolutionary for the utility construction field. This industry relies heavily on field experience, instructor-led training, and hands-on practical experience. Many organizations in the field haven’t found a way to leverage the benefits associated with an online learning tool. MasTec’s Utility Services Group now is reaping the benefits associated with its customized training portal. Although the training site always will be evolving, as the organization responds to feedback and enhancement requests, it appears to have hit the bulls-eye.


  • Bring everyone into the design process. It’s important to learn from all stakeholders—from senior leadership to employees new on the job.
  • Set goals/requirements, then ensure that every functionality component is tied to one of those goals (just like learning objectives).
  • Even after testing and usability stages, ask for feedback often. Employee needs and preferences may change over time.

John Congemi is director of Employee Development, Utility Services Group, MasTec North America, Inc.