Washington State’s Franklin PUD recently hosted high school students from the Pasco School District for a tour of the PUD’s Operations Center. The students also visited line crews out on the field.
The students expressed interest in trade careers, specifically in electrical work, said Shyanne Palmus, Community Relations Coordinator for the PUD.
“While here, the students learned about the various careers at Franklin PUD, such as the mechanic shop, transformer shop, meter shop, warehouse, and operations/dispatch,” she said.
The students were able to meet with trade employees to learn more about the specific trade and ask questions.
After a tour of PUD facilities/shops, students were taken to a site in the field where PUD linemen were performing work for a project. While at the field site the Superintendent of Transmission and Distribution as well as the Lineman Foreman answered questions and shared some of their experiences of working with electricity.
This type of program/activity “is highly beneficial for the PUD as well as our students and community, Palmus said in an email. “To be able to expose young people to the many careers available in the electric sector is important. Many young people have no idea what a utility company does or what careers may be available to them. These opportunities allow staff at the PUD to meet youth who may be interested in similar careers and offer them guidance that may solidify their decision to pursue the career or not.”
It also helps immerse those students in that field, as well as develop contacts at the school district for years to come, she said.
“Our PUD staff enjoyed getting to share insights into their careers and their day-to-day activities with the community. Since the pandemic, student visits are not as common as they once were, but we are hoping to have them become more frequent as we gear up for the next school year,” Palmus said.