AKRON, Ohio, Aug. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Power Systems Institute (PSI), a FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE) award-winning program to train the next generation of dedicated line and substation workers, restarted training programs in early July after a four-month suspension due to the nation's coronavirus health emergency. Resuming the program with well-informed and measured precautions in place helps ensure the company is continuing to develop its important workforce that delivers safe and reliable electricity to customers despite the pandemic.
Second-year students of the two-year program returned to training centers July 6, and first-year students returned July 27 to complete suspended training. PSI personnel are following corporate health and safety guidelines and are taking all precautions to safeguard FirstEnergy's employees, contractors, students and candidates at the training centers. Actions include:
- Daily temperature checks and screening to ensure health and wellness.
- Smaller group sizes with students working in pod-like groups to limit exposure.
- Maintaining 6-feet social distances between instructors and students whenever possible.
- Requiring facemasks when moving through the building and in spaces where 6-feet social distancing is not possible.
- Enhanced cleaning of classrooms, tools and equipment.
- Remote coursework options for new applicants.
"The Power Systems Institute already has provided FirstEnergy's operating companies with nearly 2,000 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 Rob Petit, supervisor of Power Systems Institute. "We're committed to maintaining our deep focus on safety as we continue this important training program for the future employees of our company."
Graduates of the program receive an Associate of Technical Studies degree with a focus on electric utility technology. While graduation ceremonies will not be held this year due to state orders that ban large gatherings, program graduates will still be hired by one of FirstEnergy's operating companies in September.
FirstEnergy originally introduced PSI in 2000 to help replace retiring line and substation workers. The PSI program combines classroom learning with hands-on training. Programs were established with colleges throughout the company's six-state service area. Program openings are limited, and applicants will be assessed through a competitive, multi-step process. For qualified students, FirstEnergy pays tuition, required books and lab fees. For more information, please visit www.firstenergycorp.com/psi or call 1-800-829-6801.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its ten electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com. Follow FirstEnergy and its utilities on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp, @ToledoEdison, @IlluminatingCo, @OhioEdison, @MonPowerWV, @JCP_L, @Penn_Power, @Penelec, @Met_Ed, @PotomacEdison, @W_Penn_Power.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.