Metropolitan Edison (Met-Ed), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., is partnering with Reading Area Community College to reinstate its award-winning program to train the next generation of utility line workers.
The Power Systems Institute (PSI) is a two-year program that combines hands-on utility skills at Met-Ed's training facility in Reading with technical coursework in a Reading Area Community College classroom. Program graduates will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree with a focus on electric utility technology.
"The Power Systems Institute already has provided Met-Ed with more than 80 highly qualified employees who are working in the field today, using the training they received from this unique program to keep the lights on for our customers," said Dave Karafa, president of Pennsylvania Operations for FirstEnergy. "We look forward to continuing this training partnership with Reading Area Community College because it offers a great opportunity for someone interested in a career in the utility industry."
"Reading Area Community College is pleased to reactivate the Power Systems Institute," said Anna Weitz, D. Ed., president of Reading Area Community College. "This program presents a strong partnership with an important member of the Pennsylvania business community and fits perfectly into our mission to provide our future workforce with practical skills that are both useful and marketable."
FirstEnergy originally introduced PSI in 2000 as a way to help replace retiring line workers. Programs were established with colleges throughout the company's six-state service area, including Reading Area Community College. With the economic downturn, in 2011 most of the PSI programs were placed on hold because projected hiring needs did not support bringing in new students. As future manpower needs at FirstEnergy were re-evaluated, the decision was made to reinstate the PSI program for the fall of 2015.