PowerPathway Program Highlights & History

The PowerPathway training network is comprised of community college, community organization, workforce investment board, university and educational partners who collaborate with PG&E to provide training in response to California’s growing energy workforce needs. Together, we work to cultivate career pathways and technical training programs in anticipation of industry workforce trends.

Since 2008, PowerPathway has trained more than 450 students, with more than 80% obtaining careers with PG&E or the utility industry.

Highlights

  • On April 10, 2015 US Vice President Joseph Biden visited the PG&E PowerPathway training site at the Oakport CSO. In addition to meeting 15 students in the Gas Pipeline Inspector for Military Veterans program, Vice President Biden praised the PG&E PowerPathway program for its success in workforce development. Read the full story
  • In partnership with the PG&E Customer Care Call Center, PG&E PowerPathway launched its first direct entry program. Students received over 200 hours of on the job training in safety, customer service, soft skills and technical training to be Customer Service Representatives. Read the full story
  • In early 2016 the PG&E PowerPathway program launched its first ever training for active-duty service members. The program was launched at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) for members of the US Army and Air Force. External utility partners in the cohort include Avista Energy, Bonneville Power Administration, Centralia City Light, PG&E, Tacoma Power and IBEW Local 77. Educational participants consist of Bates Technical College and the Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy. Read the full story
  • The PG&E PowerPathway program received the Farady Award at the 2015 Electric Power Conference. 2015 was the second year the Electric Power Conference has given the Faraday Award. The award was created in collaboration with Prequalified Ready Employees for Power (PREP Intl) to celebrate success stories in hiring veterans into the power industry. Read the full story
  • Current PG&E employee and PG&E PowerPathway graduate Erik Varela visited the White House and shared his journey with President Obama. The compelling, personal story of a PG&E apprentice electrician earned him a singular honor — introducing the president of the United States at a White House event on long-term unemployment. Read the full story

Apprenticeships

  • PG&E has an extensive apprenticeship system for many of our career paths. In addition to helping students prepare for future employment, certain PowerPathway courses, such as the Bridge to Pre-Apprentice/Lineworker or Welder, can also train candidates for possible selection into an industry apprenticeship.
  • The San Jose Bridge to Pre-Apprentice Lineworker program, in partnership with the San Jose Workforce Collaborative and San Jose Evergreen Community College, prepares individuals for linemen apprenticeships at PG&E and other utilities. Students receive eight weeks of utility worker training, with an additional two weeks dedicated to electric pole climbing. The program offers a unique opportunity for individuals to receive hands-on instruction from PG&E linemen who can share the most current PG&E Academy curriculum and industry standards.
  • The PowerPathway Capstone to Utility Welding program at Butte College in Chico has been in place since 2008.
  • In 2013, the Capstone to Utility Welding program was extended to Laney College in Oakland and American River College in Sacramento.
  • The PowerPathway Certificate in Electrical and Power Systems was launched at the College of San Mateo to source hard-to-fill apprentice electrical technician positions. Find out what our partners at the College of San Mateo have to say.
  • PG&E has a long-standing relationship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW 1245), which represents over 12,000 of our employees.

Apprenticeship training programs provide specialized on-the-job and academic training to eligible union-represented employees who want to become certified in a certain trade. For more information about apprenticeships in California, visit Department of Industrial Relations.


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