PG&E Named One of World’s Top-20 Training Organizations

Published February 15, 2017

Pacific Gas & Electric Company was recognized for having one of the world’s Top-20 training programs, and was one of five companies recognized for having an outstanding training initiative in 2017 by Training Magazine, an industry-leading publication that promotes corporate best practices for training and workforce development.

PG&E received these honors on Jan. 31 during the Training Conference and Expo in San Diego.

“These awards validate what we do across the training industry,” said Chris Pickett, PG&E Academy senior director. “This is a validation of PG&E doing the right things as a company in regards to training.”

PG&E placed 14th — its highest ranking ever — out of 125 global companies for its overall training programs. Three specific initiatives were singled out.

One was Leading Forward, a comprehensive, eight-part program for leaders at all levels of the company designed to build skills in everything from leading with safety and increasing self-awareness, to managing operations and developing teams. Leading Forward’s goal is to fill 75 percent of management vacancies from within by 2020.

The second was the Apprentice Line Worker training program, which was significantly improved after internal analysis and benchmarking with 14 other utility companies that had apprentice linemen training programs. Changes to this program have resulted in zero lost work days and motor vehicle incidents among apprentices while their success and retention rates are at all-time highs.

Finally, PG&E’s training program for core issues in Gas Operations (known as Super Gas Ops) was named as one of five Outstanding New Training Initiatives. Super Gas Ops has resulted in more than $1.2 million in savings due to improvements in job scheduling and reductions in job errors. The training provides end-to-end process awareness and allows users to quickly access interactive training guides, how-to videos and guidance documents.

“This award is a testament to the power of collaboration with our clients,” said Linda Floyd, PG&E Academy director of gas training. “This recognition wouldn’t have been possible without the strong relationship we’ve built with Gas Operations.”

Pickett said his department takes continuous improvement seriously. In addition to keeping training programs current, the PG&E Academy always looks for new and better ways to train PG&E employees. Upon course completion, students provide feedback and rate the materials and instructors. Pickett’s team takes the data, benchmarks it against 250 external corporate training organizations and cycles it back into their development process to ensure an effective feedback loop.

“Companies talk about their people as their most important asset,” said Pickett. “When someone is hired, their value has an immediate impact. But over the years, they’re asked to take on new challenges and new roles. Our continued investment in our employees is critical. Programs like the ones we offer are vital to our company’s success.”

Added Pickett: “The work we do helps our employees do their work safely, competently and productively, in that order.

by Tony Khing, PG&E Currents.