New PSI Scholarships Benefit Diverse Students

March 26, 2021

FirstEnergy continues to make steps to meet our aspirational goal to increase the diversity of our workforce – which is essential to building a more sustainable company, achieving our objectives and bringing the FirstEnergy mission to life.

One of the ways we are broadening our talent pool is through a new scholarship that is part of the Power Systems Institute (PSI) program.

PSI, an award-winning program to train the next generation of dedicated line and substation workers, is awarding up to 50 scholarships in 2021 to underrepresented candidates who reside in our service area in support of our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) efforts. The scholarships are the first offered under the FirstEnergy PSI Equal Access Scholarship Program, an initiative encouraging men and women from different cultural, ethnic and other diverse backgrounds to pursue learning a skilled craft in the PSI program. The company already pays tuition for all PSI students.

“In line with our core value of diversity and inclusion in our workforce, FirstEnergy understands and supports the value of PSI students from diverse cultures and various ethnic backgrounds,” said Dave Karafa, vice president, Distribution Support. “We are committed to, and benefit from, the full and equitable participation of members from our diverse communities. The program’s mission is t​o provide a broad range of students with the opportunity to attain their professional goals while advancing the utility industry.”

The PSI Equal Access Scholarship Program provides financial assistance with living expenses to students attending the 21-month PSI program. The scholarship is offered to diverse students who traditionally have been underrepresented in the skilled craft trades, including Black or African American, Native American or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, people of Two or More Races; Hispanic or Latino ethnicity and female candidates.

This year, up to 50 scholarships are being awarded across our 10 operating companies. A diverse panel will review 2021 PSI program applications and determine recipients. The $1,000 per month scholarship, not to exceed $21,000 over the duration of the program, will be distributed quarterly to students who remain active in PSI. The scholarship can be used to offset housing, transportation and other living expenses during participation in the PSI program. Scholarship applications for the 2022 program year will become available to candidates this fall.

The PSI program combines hands-on training with classroom learning at colleges throughout the company’s six-state service area. Program openings are limited, and applicants will be assessed through a competitive, multi-step process. For qualified students, FirstEnergy pays tuition, required books and lab fees. Graduates of the program receive an Associate of Technical Studies degree with a focus on electric utility technology. For more information, please call 1-800-829-6801 or visit