For Immediate Release: September 21, 2017

Sacramento Power Academy celebrates first apprentices

New utility training center—powered by SMUD—will boost local economic development

Story: Congresswoman Doris Matsui leads a group of VIPs, including Congressman Ami Bera, as SMUD celebrates its first class of utility work apprentices moving through their training at SMUD’s brand new regional learning center. They are the first class to participate in the SMUD Power Academy “apprentice cold/hot school” where aspiring lineworkers learn to work not only on de-energized (“cold”) lines, but also on high-voltage, electrified (“hot”) lines.

The Sacramento Power Academy, powered by SMUD, trains future utility workers for careers in electrical line work as electricians and technicians who build and maintain electric utility infrastructure. It opened after receiving accreditation from the state in fall 2015. It is the premier training center of its kind in the western U.S.

The academy supports local economic development via top-notch training of a skilled labor force for SMUD and other utilities. Research shows that two utility worker jobs in our region results in five new jobs locally. It also provides SMUD a valuable opportunity to recruit employees locally, particularly those in disadvantaged communities.

In addition to lineworkers, the center will also train substation and network electricians. Future plans include training electrical, telecom and meter technicians; engineers and designers; construction management inspectors; equipment operators; cable splicers and locators; and support staff.

Date/time:
TOMORROW, September 22, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

Location:
9268 Tokay Lane, Sacramento, CA 95829

Visuals:
Incredible video/photo opportunities of lineworkers in action, climbing utility poles, making heavy-duty repairs and working through the tactics used on the job. A high-voltage arc flash will also be demonstrated illustrating the field work hazards lineworkers can face.

Interviews:
Congresswoman Matsui, Congressman Bera, SMUD Board member, SMUD officials

Background: SMUD and the utility industry have a pressing need for a quality training center that can develop the best talent using SMUD’s proven training approach. SMUD-trained lineworkers are in high demand by other utilities because of their excellent skills.

SMUD coordinates learning opportunities through local colleges. In fall 2015, the California Department of Industrial Relations approved SMUD’s apprenticeship standards.

Initially, the academy will emphasize training for public power, customer-owned utilities like SMUD, of which there are about 2,000 in the U.S. Most do not have the resources to adequately train their employees to be the best. SMUD has been training its employees at the facility for about 50 years.

SMUD has earned a solid reputation for the best-trained and safest utility workers in the industry. SMUD’s lineworkers are perennial top award winners in lineworkers’ rodeo competitions across the nation.