Pacific Gas and Electric Company is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, PG&E has approximately 23,000 employees who carry out the utility’s primary business—the transmission and delivery of energy. The company provides natural gas and electric service to 16 million people throughout a 70,000-square-mile service area in northern and central California.
The Electric Transmission & Substation Engineering organization was planning to recruit and hire over 60 new Substation and Civil Design Engineers. Before making that massive investment in people, leadership took a detailed look at the data around design errors, retention, and learning and realized a new approach was needed to prepare and equip new engineers to be successful.
The existing training for new engineers was informal and inconsistent, costly design errors had stopped large construction projects, and the ratio of new to experienced engineers was high and increasing.
The Transmission & Substation Engineering organization partnered with PG&E Academy and Mosaic to build a comprehensive Engineers-in-Training (EIT) program that includes the following components: structured onboarding, instructor-led courses, on-the-job training (OJT), field experience, a mentorship program, a LinkedIn Learning Pathway, rotational assignments, and hands-on project work.
Both students and mentors have given the training program high praise and have noted how much they’ve been able to learn, even in an environment with strict COVID-19 restrictions. The Academy continues to conduct routine metrics surveys and hold focus groups for continued improvement, both with supervisors and managers and the cohorts themselves.