LADWP’s Pre-Craft Utility Program

16 Apr
Image from PEO, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives: http://www.flickr.com/photos/acwa/8461634441/sizes/h/in/photostream/

Image from PEO, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives: http://www.flickr.com/photos/acwa/8461634441/sizes/h/in/photostream/

California has long been a national leader in energy efficiency and clean energy, investing upwards of $6 billion a year across both sectors. Many of these investment dollars are held by public and private utility companies. This substantial investment in energy also presents a unique opportunity for utility companies to be drivers of economic development, leveraging their investments to create and transform jobs in the construction and utility sectors.

A recent study published by the UC Berkeley Labor Center highlights the efforts of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) Utility Pre-Craft Training program (UPCT) as a model for entry-level workforce training in the green economy.  The UPCT program provides pre-apprenticeship training for entry-level workers who may be interested in careers with the utility, but don’t necessarily have previous experience. The program provides the opportunity for trainees to learn a wide variety of skills and allows them to explore various career options within the utility.  The curriculum was developed by the LADWP in conjunction with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 18.

Key to the UPCT’s success was its multi-stakeholder process that included organizations with often disparate needs:  the utility, environmental stakeholders, labor, and community groups. As a result, the program has strong support from a wide network of partners who have all embraced common goals. Other utilities would be well served to incorporate programs like the UPCT into their environmental and workforce goals.

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