Seasoned EH&S Manager Returns to UCSC Extension Annually to Stay Up-to-Date


- Linda Barcomb

Term : July, 2014
Department : EHS
Program : Environmental S&H MGT

Soon after landing a position as an environmental health and safety manager for a pharmaceutical company, Linda Barcomb realized she needed to develop some practical on-the-job skills. Her manager referred her to UCSC Extension’s dual Environmental Health and Safety and Occupational Health and Safety Management certificate program, where she picked up the skills she’d need to hit the ground running. 

“Because of UCSC Extension, I got all the background information I needed to start implementing programs,” Barcomb says. “Since completing the two-year program, I have taken annual updates and continue to take the Hazardous Waste Handling and Awareness training.”

Barcomb explains that environmental health and safety management is a field that is subject to regular policy updates and changes, and because of that, EH&S managers must come equipped with both subject area knowledge and the soft skills necessary to translate technical information to their teams. She still references her notes from her “Industrial Hygiene” and “Toxicology, Principles,” courses when she needs a quick refresher on the job.

“Every time a regulation changes, it creates a whole domino effect,” she says. “As a manager, you have to be sure that applicable site changes occur; you have to update training content, and you have to update site communications.  UCSC Extension’s program was very practical; it taught me how to do what I needed to do the next day at work.”

After gaining the practical skills she needed at UCSC Extension, Barcomb went on to complete an M.S. in Environmental Management at the University of San Francisco. She later referred one of her employees to UCSC Extension.

“The highest recommendation I can make is that I saw a lot of growth in one of my direct reports after she completed the program,” she says. “Because of the courses she took at UCSC Extension, she was able to explain to people why we’re doing what we do, and how to stay compliant.”

Barcomb completed the dual certificates in the early 2000s and has been returning for annual trainings ever since.

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