TEP has teamed up with Southwest Gas to support a new Energy Technology Certificate Program that Pima Community College began offering this fall.

The two-semester program is aimed at attracting more students into skilled trade careers, putting them on the fast track to paid internships and apprenticeships with TEP and other local utilities. The program’s ultimate goal is to support workforce development and address the severe shortage of skill trade workers.

The curriculum was developed with input from Southwest Gas and TEP. Several seasoned TEP employees serve as instructors, teaching courses at the Ken Saville Training Center on TEP’s Irvington campus. Students have the opportunity to work alongside experienced tradespeople in a variety of positions to explore different jobs that might interest them.

“TEP’s input has been crucial to ensuring that our courses address the competencies needed in the field,” said Greg Wilson, Dean of Applied Technology at PCC. “Several instructors teaching our students about power generation, distribution components and utility metering are experienced TEP employees – not academics teaching from a book. That makes all the difference.”

“TEP instructors really go the extra mile to help students learn the skilled trades,” added Joanne Kingman, TEP Training Supervisor. “They participate in career fairs hosted by Pima Community College Career Services and serve on mock interview panels to prepare students for job interviews.”

More than 40 students have enrolled in the program this fall. Upon completion of the program, they’ll earn three nationally recognized certifications required for technical jobs with TEP, Southwest Gas, utility contractors or other industry employers.