For Immediate Release
202-872-2680 (media hotline)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 17, 2021) – Pepco and the District of Columbia's Department of Employment Services (DOES) celebrated the graduation of the latest cohort of the Pepco Utility Training School program with the D.C. Infrastructure Academy (DCIA) on May 13. Pepco and DOES held a virtual celebration during Infrastructure Week to recognize the graduates' achievement along with their families and friends.
"I am honored to be a part of celebrating the first class of 2021 graduates of the DCIA Pepco Utility Training School Program," said Mayor Muriel Bowser. "These graduates have received quality training that has prepared them for high paying jobs of the future. Shining stars like them will lead our economic recovery."
This first cohort of 2021 had 19 graduates, including three women. 90 percent of the participants are from Wards 7 and 8 and all the graduates are on track to receive a job offer by June with Pepco or a Contractor of Choice. Including this latest cohort, more than 70 District residents have graduated from the Pepco Utility Training School at the DC Infrastructure and have been offered jobs since 2018.
"Over the last year, the pandemic has elevated essential energy workers in our consciousness and discussions with energy infrastructure continuing to be critical to the local economy," said Sandy Fisher, vice president of Transmission and Substation, Pepco Holdings. "The work needed to build a smarter, stronger, and cleaner energy grid would not be possible without a high-caliber workforce. Programs like this with DCIA provide a vehicle for Pepco to be meaningfully involved in connecting residents to employment opportunities and careers in the energy sector."
"Innovative partnerships with employers like Pepco allow the Department of Employment Services to help Washingtonians prepare for high demand, good paying careers," said DOES Director Unique Morris-Hughes. "This is particularly important for traditionally underserved communities in Wards 7 and 8. We are proud to support these graduates as they begin their next steps."
Pepco expanded its support of the DCIA earlier this year, as part of a partnership with the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN), with a goal to enroll 100 participants per year to the Pepco Utility Training School. The partnership with WIN is strengthening the local workforce, expanding opportunities, and creating a robust pipeline of talent from the communities Pepco serves while driving fair and equitable wages, and increased job opportunities for District residents.
"The Pepco Utility Training School program is good for DC's future and provides great guidance for individuals seeking a sense of direction and career development," said 2021 DCIA graduate Vernon Perry. "It has been an amazing experience to work with people from different and similar backgrounds. Since joining the program, I have learned so many different things about the utility field and developed a passion for it. My plan is to continue to grow in this field."
The Pepco Utility Training School program teaches the skills and provides the experience necessary to begin working safely on the local energy grid. The objective of the program is to prepare District residents for well-paying careers within the energy utility industry by offering customized training for the Construction and Skills Trades (CAST) exam, workforce readiness and technical skill development for overhead, underground, transmission and substation operations. Additionally, participants not only learn new skills and get plugged into a career path, they also receive valuable certifications including OHSA, Flagger, and CPR/first aid safety, which was new to this cohort.
The program returned in the hybrid format established in 2020, due to the ongoing pandemic to include virtual classrooms and in-person hands-on trainings with social distancing. The in-person events provides students the opportunity to participate in overhead and underground distribution system training and live line truck demonstrations. Each contractor and Pepco hosted sessions at the Academy's training yard over the twelve-week program. Alumni from previous cohorts who now hold positions with Pepco and Anchor Construction, also returned to help train this cohort.
Graduates were presented with certificates of completion along with words of praise and encouragement from ceremony speakers.
To learn more about Pepco, visit The Source, our online newsroom. Find additional information by visiting pepco.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/pepcoconnect and on Twitter at twitter.com/pepcoconnect. Pepco's mobile app is available at pepco.com/mobileapp.