Tucson Electric Power (TEP), Pima Community College (PCC) and other partners will use a federal grant to expand energy industry job training programs in Arizona. The United States Department of Labor awarded a $13,477,799 Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant to the Arizona Sun Corridor Get Into Energy Consortium (Consortium), an association of five community colleges in Arizona. TAACCCT grants are intended to assist workers who have lost or may lose their jobs as a result of foreign trade by providing opportunities to obtain skills, credentials, and other resources needed to find work. TEP and other industry partners throughout Arizona contributed input and support to the grant application, which was prepared under the leadership of Dr. Clay Goodman, vice president of Occupational Education at Estrella Mountain Community College in Avondale, Ariz., and Consortium director. PCC will receive approximately $1.9 million of the grant. Northland Pioneer College (NPC) in northeast Arizona, where TEP’s Springerville Generating Station is located, will receive approximately $2 million. Grant funding, which will become available to the colleges next year, may be used to pay for instructors, facilities and delivery of curriculum that will prepare students for energy-sector jobs. The job development programs will be open to anyone, although extra effort will be made to recruit veterans and underserved populations including racial and ethnic minorities and people with disabilities. “In order to develop the talented workforce that will maintain our electrical infrastructure in the future, we have to make an investment in our communities today,” said Cathy Ries, TEP Vice President of Human Resources and Information Systems. “These training initiatives will help to ensure that we can continue to hire employees who provide safe, reliable energy service to customers.” By 2015, almost half of the skilled workforce in the energy industry may need to be replaced due to retirement or attrition, according to the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD). These new training programs will help prepare applicants for high-wage, high-skill jobs. Workers entering the program will have an opportunity to earn credentials in Energy Industry Fundamentals, which can be used by energy industry employers nationwide to evaluate job applicants.
In Pima County, PCC will work with TEP, the Pima County Workforce Investment Board and Pima County One Stop to develop training programs and resources that will help prepare students to become technicians, line workers, plant operators, engineers and other types of skilled craftsmen in the energy and mining industries. Northland Pioneer, TEP and other community partners will work to develop similar resources to serve communities in northeast Arizona.“We are pleased to work with PCC to make these programs available to members of our communities who are interested in pursuing jobs in the energy industry,” Ries said. “As it is with many utility companies, our employees can enjoy long and satisfying careers. We offer a competitive package of salary, benefits and compensation and our employees take great pride in serving their communities.” TEP also has scheduled a three-hour career and education fair named “TEP Hires Heroes!” The event is intended to identify and recruit prospective employees who have served in the armed forces. Hiring representatives from TEP, as well as sister companies Southwest Energy Solutions and UniSource Energy Services, will attend the job fair, which is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at TEP’s Corporate Headquarters building, 88 E. Broadway Blvd. in Tucson. Additional details and an online registration form will soon be posted on tep.com. Tucson Electric Power provides safe, reliable service to 404,000 customers in southern Arizona. To learn more about employment opportunities with TEP, visit tep.com. For more information about TEP’s parent company, UNS Energy (NYSE: UNS), visit uns.com. Note: Members of the media may request to interview current TEP apprentices including:
- A current apprentice who had a successful career in the construction industry until he was laid off and unable to find work because of the weak economy
- A veteran who is participating in an apprenticeship program
- Apprentices who have successfully completed the Building for Success program