“It’ll start a pipeline for new employees, not only for [Glendale Water & Power], but for other utilities,” Steiger said of the college’s new Verdugo Power Academy, which will initially train electrical line mechanics, technicians and station electricians.
Steiger expected that workers who come out of the initial 16-week program will be able to help with solar panel installation and managing wind turbines, growing needs for the utility and other companies, he said.
By helping to train workers for jobs that will need to be filled, the academy will become a valuable area asset, Steiger said.
“We see it as a plus for both [Glendale Water & Power] and the community,” he said.
College officials had partnered with the utility to develop the program after trustee Tony Tartaglia heard it was having problems finding qualified workers to fill openings.
The success of the college’s Verdugo Fire Academy, a partnership with the Glendale Fire Department, inspired officials to organize another collaborative effort for the power training program, which will not only use the utility’s expertise for instruction, but will give students an opportunity to emerge ready for jobs with starting salaries of up to $60,000, officials said.
Administrators hope to build on the establishment of the power academy to develop more training programs through partnerships with area businesses, President/Supt. Dawn Lindsay said.
“The college is really fostering our relationship with the community so that we are considered the primary resource for training,” Lindsay said.