Pennsylvania Electric Co. has hired 30 graduates of the company's utility worker training program as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance reliability for customers in its western and central Pennsylvania service areas.
The new employees include 24 line workers who are recent graduates of the company's Power Systems Institute (PSI), a utility worker training partnership with Edinboro University's Porecco College in Erie, Pennsylvania. In addition, there are six new substation electricians who graduated from a similar PSI program at Penn Highlands Community College in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
"The PSI program is an effective pipeline for adding well-trained, highly skilled employees to our workforce," said Scott Wyman, regional president of Penelec. "By teaming with our veteran linemen and substation personnel, these new employees will help ensure safe and reliable service for our customers, now and in the future."
PSI is an award-winning, two-year educational program originally developed by FirstEnergy in 2000 to help prepare the company's next generation of utility line and substation workers.
The PSI curriculum for lines employees requires two-and-a-half days each week spent at Porecco College completing academic course work, with the remainder of the week spent at a Penelec training facility in Erie. The PSI curriculum for substation employees requires a half week spent at Penn Highlands Community College completing academic course work, with the rest of the week spent at a FirstEnergy facility in Pennsylvania. All students focus on safe work practices and procedures in the electrical environment. The graduates earned an associate of applied science degree in Electric Utility Technology.
Since the program's inception, FirstEnergy has hired about 1,300 line and 420 substation personnel who completed PSI programs in Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.