Utilities Must see Workforce Development as Long-term Goal

 Jul 07 2017
Photo Courtesy Power Grid Magazine
Utility workers like to party just like anyone else. Lately, though, it may be more retirement parties than anything else.

Many of the grid's keepers are aging out and riding off into their sunset years at a higher pace than they can be replaced. Those who are staying must approach their jobs differently than they have in the past. This is no different than welders or oilfield workers and many other trades, but few of those fields are changing more dramatically than the nation's electric transmission and distribution sector.

"The industry is going through a tremendous amount of transformation," said Fidel Marquez, the chief governmental and community relations officer at Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) who started in the field as an engineer and has worked through four decades of change. "What you learn at school is one thing and how it works in the practical world is another."

The nation's utilities and their service firms are tasked with replacing and retraining much of their ranks right here, right now. You can't get much more practical than that. More than a quarter of the workforce is 55 years or older, according to some reports, while the 20th century grid is transforming into a 21st-century marvel with more decentralization, two-way communications and analytics at the edge.

Read more at http://www.elp.com/articles/powergrid_international/print/volume-22/issue-6/features/training-days-utilities-must-see-workforce-development-as-long-term-goal.html.

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