By Matt Nauman
PG&E has embarked on an ambitious, aggressive effort to improve and modernize its gas and electric operations. Besides the obvious, boots-on-the-ground types of jobs that this work will require, the back-to-basic focus at the company includes hiring people to help PG&E improve its customer communications and to implement the use of better, innovative technologies.
Here’s the bottom line: PG&E is hiring.
How many jobs? Currently, PG&E has more than 2,000 jobs open. The company’s website (www.pge.com/careers) is the best place to find more details. Some have compared that hiring boom to what California saw immediately after World War II. And, it’s much needed as parts of the state continue to suffer from economic woes, including high unemployment and cutbacks in services.
“We are making major changes and improvements across the company and we are looking for intelligent, hard-working people who have the passion and the skills to help us do that,” said John R. Simon, the company’s senior vice president of human resources.
PG&E is Hiring: From Field Workers to Engineers in Gas Operations
Not surprisingly, many of these job openings are in PG&E’s Gas Operations department. A wide range of positions – from entry-level utility worker jobs to pipeline engineers – are needed.
For highly skilled positions, PG&E has been recruiting nationwide, looking for those leaving the gas and oil industry in places like Texas and the Northeast.
Nick Stavropoulos joined PG&E as its executive vice president of gas operations in 2011 from National Grid, which serves 3.5 million customers in New York and New England.
Jesus Soto Jr., who just arrived as PG&E’s senior vice president of gas transmission operations, came from the El Paso Corporation’s Pipeline Group in Texas.
PG&E is Hiring: IT Brings Tech to the Workforce
Some of the most notable changes are taking place in PG&E’s Information Technology department. Karen Austin, the company’s chief information officer, joined PG&E in 2011 after several decades in retail. She is working to put the useful technology in the hands of employees and come up with innovations to benefit customers.
A good example is the Green Button, where Austin worked directly and personally with the White House’s chief technology officer, to make energy usage data available to PG&E customers, who can then use it with computer apps to make smarter choices to save money and energy. The effort is now being replicated by other utilities.
“From a technology perspective, now is a great time to join PG&E,” said Austin. “The IT team is driving change across the business, from wrangling the challenges of Big Data to identifying the latest mobile solutions for our field workers. We’re looking for people who are passionate about using technology as an agent of positive change, such as applying innovative technologies to better inform our customers about their energy use and helping PG&E work towards renewable energy and a greener California.”
What kind of IT jobs is PG&E offering? Just look at this description of a job opening for an Enterprise Technology Risk Management professional.
“Battling hackers. Discussing the latest viruses with the FBI. Measuring the cyber risk for the entire company. Just a day in the life of an ETRM professional. ETRM is chartered with managing the technology risk across all of PG&E’s lines of business.”
Duties range from testing to ensure that PG&E’s applications (such as My Energy) are safe on the Internet to making sure that PG&E’s IT system will function after a natural disaster.
PG&E is Hiring: More Openings Across the Board
And many other departments have openings, too.
Electric Operations needs experience line workers as well as those who are new to the job market, returning veterans and those looking for a new career to start the process to becoming a line worker.
Lots of other departments – corporate affairs, finance, law and more – have openings, too.
Although its headquarters are in San Francisco, and some of these jobs will be located there, a majority will be in other cities across PG&E’s vast service area – in Eureka and Chico, in Fresno and Bakersfield, and in San Luis Obispo County.
In Auburn, PG&E is looking for a Power Generation Engineering Supervisor. In Fresno there’s an opening for a Senior Operations Specialist who will work to make PG&E safer by investigating any work procedure errors. And in Marysville PG&E needs an Electric Distribution Supervisor who will be in charge of crews of 15 to 35 employees as they install and repair powerlines.
Why work at PG&E? It starts with the people who work at a company that provides safe and reliable gas and electric service to 15 million Californians – about one in every 20 Americans. PG&E has rich culture of diversity and competitive compensation and benefit plans. Ultimately, it is the work, which can be difficult but always is challenging and rewarding.
Email Matt Nauman at firstname.lastname@example.org.