Open for Business

CEI's Midtown Service Center opened shop last month when 64 employees from the East 24th Street location moved into the new facility.

February 6, 2019

Employees from The Illuminating Company’s (CEI) East 24th Street Service Center now have a new facility to call home: Midtown Service Center, a recently renovated property FirstEnergy Utilities acquired to enhance work life for employees and service to customers.

“Midtown’s location – along Euclid Avenue near East 70th Street – is better suited to service our customers,” says Mike Armour, director, Regional Operations Support. “It’s also a more modern, updated facility and offers good flexibility for accommodating operations personnel. The cable department is the primary occupant, along with several other groups, including meter reading, meter services, collections, warehousing, facilities and the fleet department.”

Dan Tanno, supervisor, Line & Substations, updates underground line prints in one of Midtown’s work spaces.

Preparing the facility for business happened quickly.

“The Midtown building was previously used as a bus depot by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities,” says Bryan Komlos, manager, Regulated Fleet & Facilities Services, who spearheaded CEI’s effort to get the building ready for use. “It was a large undertaking in a short time frame to turn the existing space into a fully functional service center. We were able to access the building last June and it’s been full speed ahead ever since.”

Employees’ first day of work at the Midtown location was Jan. 21.

“Everyone has responded well to the new facility,” adds Terry Perona, manager, Operations Services, Underground Network. “The building layout was reconfigured to meet the specific needs of the groups working here. The garage has more room, making it easier to get equipment in and out. Spaces like locker rooms, bathrooms and break areas are all an upgrade from 24th Street.”

This area for morning safety briefings and meetings is light, bright and big enough to hold a crowd.

Midtown also provides a more secure environment for housing critical equipment.

“We have plenty of room to securely store our reels of copper wire inside now,” says Line Clerk Storekeeper George Felton. “At 24th Street they were kept outside. We didn’t have as much space available before.”

Meter Reading Supervisor Amy Straky enjoys the energy that working in a new place brings. “I like it. The space is bigger and brighter. My team has its own work area now that’s separate from the garage vehicles.”

Amy Straky is enjoying the new location that offers a designated, brighter space for her meter reading team to work.

Though almost complete, Brian and his team are still in the process of finishing phase two of building readiness at Midtown, but expect work be done soon.

“The building has a second floor that’s currently under renovation that will house an area manager and other employee offices,” he says. “And we’re still finding homes for some items and organizing equipment, but it’s coming along. There’s a lot of positives to this place.”

Copper wiring reels are now stored in a secure indoor area at Midtown.