Boosting Awareness of Utility Workforce Opportunities
Nils Hagen-Frederiksen is a former journalist and long-time public affairs officer for numerous government agencies. He currently serves as Press Secretary for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
It is often said that big ideas begin with a small spark, and that's exactly what happened in Pennsylvania in late-September with the launch of an enhanced #UtilityCareers campaign. Supported by a wide-reaching group of utilities, state agencies, legislative and community leaders and educational institutions, the statewide and ever-growing initiative includes new videos and website materials aimed at encouraging more talented candidates to consider careers in the utility sector.
The initial challenge from Pennsylvania PUC Chairman Gladys Brown and the Commissioners was to identify ways to better showcase employment opportunities at the Commission as well as the utilities we regulate. The PUC - like so many of our utilities and other organizations - faces issues related to the "baby boomer bubble," and the steady outflow of experienced staffers who are reaching retirement age. Quickly, the Pennsylvania plan evolved to include a variety of state and national efforts related to utilities and commissions, including NARUC initiatives regarding workforce development and outreach to veterans.