Ohio Edison is partnering with Kent State University at Trumbull to offer its award-winning program to train the next generation of utility line workers.
The Power Systems Institute is a two-year program that combines hands-on utility skills at an Ohio Edison training facility with technical coursework at Kent State Trumbull. Program graduates will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree with a focus on electrical engineering technology.
"The Power Systems Institute already has provided Ohio Edison with nearly 320 highly qualified employees who are working in the field today, using the training they received from this unique program to help keep the lights on for our customers," said Randall A. Frame, regional president of Ohio Edison. "We look forward to developing this training partnership with Kent State Trumbull because it offers a great opportunity for someone interested in a career in the utility industry."
"This program is an example of business and education coming together to address a workforce issue that ultimately will benefit the entire region," said Dr. Wanda Thomas, interim dean, Kent State Trumbull. "The Power Systems Institute will train some of FirstEnergy's future utility workers who will be needed to help keep power flowing to homes and businesses throughout northeast Ohio for years to come."
FirstEnergy originally introduced the Power Systems Institute in 2000 as a way to help replace retiring line workers. Programs were established at colleges throughout the company's six-state service area. With the economic downturn, in 2011 most of the Power Systems Institute 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 Power Systems Institute program, targeting a fall of 2015 enrollment class.
Program openings are limited, and applicants will be assessed through a competitive, multi-step process. An orientation program for prospective candidates will take place Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, from 10 a.m. to noon at Kent State Trumbull's Classroom Building auditorium, 4314 Mahoning Avenue NW, Warren, Ohio, 44483. More information is available at www.firstenergycorp.com/psi or by calling 800-829-6801.