PSI School Resumes Training
August 9, 2020
FirstEnergy’s Power Systems Institute (PSI) training program for line and substation workers has restarted following a four-month suspension due to the COVID-19 health emergency. Some program adjustments are being made to help ensure a safe and healthy environment for all involved.
“The PSI program has provided FirstEnergy’s operating companies with nearly 2,000 highly-qualified men and women who are working in the field today, using the training they received from this unique program to keep the lights on for our customers,” said Rob Petit, supervisor, PSI.
PSI historically combines classroom learning with hands-on training. Classes are held in association with colleges throughout the company’s six-state service area. Second-year students of the two-year program returned to training centers in early July and completed their instruction on July 24. Program graduates earn an associate degree with a focus on electric utility technology.
|Did You Know?
PSI was launched in 2000 to help replace retiring line and substation workers. Program openings are limited, and applicants are assessed through a competitive, multi-step process. For qualified students, FirstEnergy pays tuition, required books and lab fees. Visit www.firstenergycorp.com/psi or call 1-800-829-6801 for more information.
“FirstEnergy’s utility companies will be hiring 213 students in August and September,” Rob said. “The majority of graduates will go to the lines side, with 60 scheduled to work in our substations.”
Students entering their second year of the program resumed training on July 27. Much of the in-class training for the fall semester is expected to be conducted remotely whenever possible. PSI personnel and students will follow Corporate Health & Safety guidelines, taking all precautions to protect FirstEnergy employees, contractors, students and candidates at the training centers.
“We anticipate most classes at our partnering colleges will be held online,” said Rob. “But there could be some hybrid models, for example, where students take some classes online but take their labs on campus. The training that occurs at our facilities will be in-person, as usual.”
Transferring much of the curricula to distance learning via the internet represents challenges, for both instructors and students.
“Our students need to be organized and disciplined since most of their schoolwork will be done on their own,” Rob said. “They will need to dedicate hours in the week to complete everything in a timely manner. We encourage all our students to stay connected and utilize resources offered by our partnering colleges.”
The company will conduct enhanced cleaning of classroom furniture, common areas, tools and equipment, and there will be ample supplies of facemasks, gloves, hand sanitizers and cleaning solutions available. In addition, the company continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and take appropriate actions in accordance with internal medical consultants, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO).