A second cohort has graduated from a PECO Energy program designed to help diversify the workforce of the utility. The second 20 have worked for 17 weeks in a program designed to give them entry into apprentice programs at the utility.
One of the graduates, Andy Andino spoke at the graduation ceremony. He said this is a job that will give him good pay for hard work without getting a college education.
“It was actually amazing, eye-opening, to be able to work in all the different departments. I always thought electrical was just aerial, but to go to the ground department and the transmission substation department, it broadened my horizons.”
The group started out as helpers and graduates qualified to become a part of a four-year apprentice program. If they complete that training, it could result in a job with the potential for a six-figure paycheck.
The 17-week program gave the “helpers” experience in all aspects of the utility industry and driving a commercial vehicle, said Keith Henderson, manager of PECO’s workforce development program.
“They are leaving with a CDL and experience to go through at least five departments within the company, there are jobs available, we are hiring, and they are expected to post for those positions that come open.”
Andino said he’s ready to move into a field that has good pay in return for hard work and sometimes extended hours.
“This was a dream job of mine so to be able to work through this helper program to get into this company I always wanted to get into is amazing,” he said.
Andino hopes to become a part of an aerial line crew, and believes it will give him a good-paying job to support his new family. Workers in the field can earn over $100,000 a year with overtime. Henderson said some of the better jobs have base salaries in six figures with the potential for overtime.
The utility hopes to find jobs for all the graduates and plans to start another cohort of helpers next year.