From the ITD Vault - 40 Years Ago (Feb. 1976)
After enjoying a 20-year career with the Department, former Public Information Supervisor-Training Specialist, W.W. (Bill) Harvey opted for early retirement Dec. 30.
"If you apply yourself and keep an eye open for opportunities, the lTD can be a fantastic on-the-job training ground for any employee," Harvey noted.
As a copywriter-announcer-sales manager for several Idaho radio stations and a TV personality at KTVB-TV, Boise, from 1950-1966, Harvey managed to sell several articles based on his radio and TV experiences to national magazines including Christian Life.
Following the same pattern as Information Supervisor with lTD since 1966, Harvey had over 1,000 articles published in national transportation trade magazines including Better Roads, Open Road, AASHTO Quarterly, Western Construction, Highways and Heavy Construction, Phoenix Quarterly, and many others.
"It was all part of the job," he said. "For every 100 Department image·building articles I wrote for free I usually managed to sell one or two for dollars as a freelance writer based, in many cases, on what I learned while working with the department. "
Harvey grew up in Clarkston, Wash., and served four years as a Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific during World War II.
"Being pretty young at the time, I almost enjoyed being karnikazeed and rocketed at Iwo Jima and being sniped at D-Day on Guam."
Discharged in 1945, Harvey spent a year at a variety of jobs and then attended the Universities of Oregon, Washington and Washington State graduating in journalism and speech in 1950.
"There's an article idea in almost every area of the department. All you have to do is keep your eyes and ears open."
Now considered a national authority on safety truck escape ramps, Go·West magazine (a California trucking management monthly) bought a series of five escape ramp articles covering the western states this past year.
Some of these articles have been widely reprinted and have received considerable interest by major trucking firms around the country.
Having worked with Rand McNally on the official Idaho highway map for two decades was also opportune. Based in part on the escape ramp articles, Harvey will be working with that company to research and write The Trucker's Bible to add to their worldwide publication list.
"You literally have to be a sponge looking at everything around you with an eye to an article. About a year ago in Training and Development, I got to thinking that there just had to be a better way. We needed video training programs. It would cost a bundle to produce them in-house.
Why not survey the state DOTs and see what they had and would they be willing to let us copy their programs? Voila! Thirty-six out of 50 states were ecstatic. By swapping tapes all around the country we have built up the lTD video resource library from 50 to over 350 programs, with an estimated value of at least $2 million if we put in the effort and expense of producing them in-house.
The program also resulted in Harvey selling an article on the subject to Training, the national magazine of human resource development.
Along with keeping busy with a steady output of articles and short stories, he just completed Rag, A Story of the First People on Earth, an Ice Age juvenile novel, and am revising a nonfiction book - The Black and White Primer from A to Z.
“Retirement is finally going to give my word processor time do what I want to do full-time and that is to write. I have always sympathized with some of our retired employees who seemingly have nothing to do when they retire. You just have to develop some interests or hobbies; eat properly, and get a Iittle exercise once in awhile. "
"l owe the Department a lot for giving me the opportunity to become involved over the years in a variety of projects that have advanced my writing career immeasurably. I'm very grateful for that. I also owe a personal debt of gratitude to the many friends I have made in the lTD and associated organizations and to my wife, Terry, who – unlike you - have had to put up with me on a daily basis for the past 40 years."
Editor's 2017 Note: Harvey stepped away from the Public Information Office in the fall of 1985, and spent that final year working in the Training area. Jeff Stratten joined ITD as its new Public Information Officer in September of 1985, and had a 30-year run in the position, retiring in November 2015. Vince Trimboli joined ITD in August 2015 to take Stratten's place, joining a short list of illustrious leaders in the position.