Tucson Electric Power each year offers dozens of job training and internship positions with the goal of educating the future workforce and giving veterans and disabled and disadvantaged local residents work experience.
“Our job training programs utilize the power of being a local employer,” said Marji Morris, Senior Human Resources Generalist. “We take pride in bettering our community by offering opportunity through several very successful partnerships.”
The Building for Success program develops talent from Pima Community College in partnership with TEP and its sister company, Southwest Energy Solutions. Students take one year of classes at Pima designed to introduce them to careers offered at TEP and SES. The students connect with employees and sharpen their skills for taking entrance exams.
Students who complete the program with a 2.0 GPA or higher are eligible to apply for a one-year internship with SES. During this internship, students rotate through different craft areas to learn about each one more in-depth.
Since the beginning of the program, SES has had approximately 36 craft interns — 18 of those interns were hired into pre-apprenticeship programs, and several others were hired into other positions at TEP and SES. Other students who completed the certificate with PCC were hired directly into TEP and bypassed the internship.
“We are strengthening this program to include two more certificates that are recognized by other utilities partnered with the Center for Energy Workforce Development,” the non-profit consortium of electric, natural gas and nuclear utilities and their associations, said Katie Chapman, Transmission & Distribution Training Coordinator.
TEP also partners with organizations that offer job training for disadvantaged individuals.
TEP has partnered with San Miguel High School in southern Tucson for seven years. The Corporate Internship Program has employed more than 40 students in Accounts Payable, Accounting, Payroll, Human Resources and other departments.
Many San Miguel students take a full load of college-preparatory courses while holding their internships and earning nearly 60 percent of their school tuition.
TEP has partnered with the Beacon Group, which creates opportunities for people with disabilities, since 1998. Beacon workers help clean and maintain equipment and keep protective gear in good working order.
Last year’s pilot program with GoodFutures, a training and employment program for youth ex-offenders, went so well that TEP is looking to expand the partnership. “The participants’ hope is that they can observe, learn and provide hands-on help while gaining new skills,” Morris said.
TEP also provides job training to local teachers and has successfully partnered with the University of Arizona’s Teachers in Industry and Tucson Values Teachers programs.
Each summer, TEP employs a handful of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teachers in Tucson and in Springerville. The teachers take their real-world industry experience back into the classroom to more effectively prepare their students to enter the future workforce.
TEP also is a nationally recognized TROOPS to Energy Jobs employer. This program helps veterans make a successful transition to a career in the utility industry. The Career Center available via tep.com guides veterans step-by-step in transferring their military training to a new energy job.