National Grid ‘Careers In Energy Week’ Inspires New Workforce

By Virginia Limmiatis

National Grid celebrated recently Careers in Energy week by inviting area high school students to locations in Upstate and Downstate New York and New England to learn about exciting opportunities in the energy business.

Launched in 2010 by the Center for Energy Workforce Development, Careers In Energy Week is a national effort to increase awareness about energy careers.  National Grid has long supported STEM and pipeline programs to attract local talent to become the next generation of the energy workforce.

In upstate New York, in the central division, over 100 Syracuse City School District students toured the Henry Clay Boulevard training facility, rotating through four stations: mechanical lab, gas operations, customer metering, and live demonstrations. Students heard from New York State Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter and New York State Senator David Valesky who spoke about STEM education and the importance of staying in school, and Tim Graham, National Grid vice president of Customer Meter Services, who shared his insights on the many opportunities to succeed at National Grid, and urging students, “Be heard.”

Students also attended a business class where they learned the various aspects of working at an international energy company and a career fair hosted by National Grid employees from various business areas.

In Downstate New York, in Long Island 70 BOCES high school students toured the National Grid Training Center and heard from National Grid New York President Ken Daly, State Senator Tom Croci, and Suffolk County Legislator Rob Calarco who spoke to students about career paths and new opportunities in energy.

Students received a tour of the facility, visiting various stations: mechanical lab, gas operations, customer metering, and live demonstrations, and participated in a career fair.

In Rhode Island and Massachusetts employees hosted 190 students at various events, giving students the opportunity to learn more about the energy business and potential careers available to them.  Young adults from Providence Career & Technical Academy (Providence) and Davies Career and Technical High School (Lincoln) learned about the company’s electricity and gas businesses in a variety of ways.  They attended a mock “career fair” featuring representatives from various parts of the business; explored a state of the art Mobile Emergency Operations Center, and; witnessed a Live Line Demonstration used to train first responders. National Grid executives and employees also spoke to the students about their own experiences in the field, and the fulfilling careers they have found in the energy space.

With a workforce of 16,000 employees in the US, an estimated 400 National Grid employees with an average retirement age of 60 years, each year retire. The company anticipates over the next five years approximately 16 percent of its workforce will retire.

In addition to replacing retiring employees, the company actively hires for attrition and growth in its business. National Grid has hired an estimated 1,800 employees, just in 2016.

National Grid Lineman Justin Stewart fields questions from students during a pole climbing demonstration at the Henry Clay Blvd. training facility, Liverpool, NY

 

Live Line Demonstration, Millbury Training facility, Worcester, MA

 

National Grid New York President, Ken Daly with high school students from BOCES celebrating Careers in Energy Week at the National Grid training center on Long Island

 

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