Economic Opportunities Program
Economic Opportunities Program
PG&E PowerPathway ™
- 82% of PowerPathway graduates hired into PG&E or the utility industry
- 60% of PowerPathway participants are from under-represented communities
- 98% retention rate after 6 months of employment at PG&E
|PowerPathway: An Introduction|
Utilities across the country face a shortage of skilled workers and trained professionals to meet growing demand. In response to this workforce trend, PG&E launched PowerPathway™ to ensure the training and development of the next generation of utility workers. PowerPathway is a collaboration between local colleges, the public workforce development system, and internal PG&E partners to enlarge the talent pool of qualified candidates for entry-level opportunities. Programs developed by PG&E and their training partners are designed to help new and incumbent workers grow and develop along several skilled gas and electric operations career paths while providing a reliable pipeline of skilled workers that PG&E and other industry employers can count on.
PowerPathway utilizes PG&E training and educational resources and shares those resources with community colleges and community-based training partners. These partners develop industry-informed career pathways, training, and curriculum in response to growing energy industry and company workforce needs. Four to six courses are typically available in a calendar year and offer three primary educational outcomes:
- Soft Skills Training: This training includes information on company culture, communication, team building, diversity and inclusion, interview preparation, resume refinement, and networking.
- Test Preparation: During this time students prepare for written pre-employment tests and post offer physical assessments.
- Industry-Informed Technical Training: These modules vary depending on internal need. Most training opportunities include specific utility gas or electric information such as plastic pipe fusion, pole climbing, traffic control, digging procedures, or underground locate and mark activities.
PG&E has increasingly focused recruitment for PowerPathway among military veterans across its service territory, helping to strengthen job prospects for community members and ensuring workers have a connection to the communities they serve. From 2008 to 2014, PowerPathway has trained 520 students through 21 training programs, including 311 military veterans. Of those trained through 2014, over 82% have been hired into industry-related positions, with half of those at PG&E.
“Over the past five years, PowerPathway has become the benchmark for workforce training programs. As I look back on the program’s evolution, I’m very proud of our progress. Through innovative partnerships, the program is producing qualified, diverse, local candidates who are successfully starting careers at PG&E and throughout the entire utility industry.”
-Tony Earley, Chairman, CEO & President, PG&E
|How the Partnership Works|
Industry employers, workforce investment boards, two -year postsecondary educational institutions, and community-based training organizations contribute to make these programs and partnerships possible. PG&E provides technical support, curriculum design, co-delivery of classroom instruction, student field visits, in-kind donations of training equipment, employment and/or enlistment of additional employers to advise and hire, as well as program management, administration and funding. Community partners offer job placement support for one year after program completion and PowerPathway Program Managers continue to offer placement support for up to three years after program completion to ensure program participants are able to not only find jobs but to find careers in the utility industry.
Skills for America's Future (SAF) is a non-partisan, employer-led initiative of the Aspen Institute. It is focused on creating a national network of partnerships among employers, community colleges, industry associations and other stakeholders. These partnerships are designed to ensure that American workers receive the necessary training to meet the skill needs of employers, giving them the opportunity to obtain and keep good jobs.
For more information about how your company can partner with community colleges and Skills for America's Future, contact firstname.lastname@example.org