Posted on August 31, 2012

National Radio Program Focuses on PG&E’s ‘Silver Tsunami’

PG&E’s training program for utility workers is getting some national media attention this week.

Olatungi Lawrence takes part in a pole-climbing demonstration in Oakland in June.

On Thursday (Aug. 30), the broadcast program Marketplace aired a segment featuring a pole-climbing exercise earlier this summer in Oakland.

PG&E’s PowerPathway program is training the next generation of utility workers for high-demand positions at PG&E and other energy companies. The effort is spurred in part because half of the utility’s workforce could retire in the next five years, which some are calling the “Silver Tsunami.”

The national radio report was part of a series called Clocked In, which focuses on young workers finding jobs.

Jeff Wilding, director of electric operations training for PG&E, likened the program to a farm system for minor league baseball players.

“The analogy is really that if you go recruit someone out of high school or college on a baseball team, they have to go through that whole farm system before they can get to the major leagues,” Wilding says in the radio segment. “Linemen in this case being the major league. Those are our pros.”

Listen to the radio report or read a transcript here. Marketplace programs are broadcast by more than 500 public radio stations nationwide across the United States and are heard by more than 9 million weekly listeners.

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"PG&E" refers to Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation.
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