Premier training for the evolving electric utility industry
MEA’s Electric Library grew out of MEA’s successful gas Operator Qualification training program. MEA’s collaboration with members to develop and deliver industry consensus training worked very well for the gas industry, where regulatory requirements for gas workers are quite stringent. As a result, MEA utility a consortium of members gathered to define the lineworker curriculum. Courses, assessments and field evaluations provide a comprehensive training solution for new and existing lineworkers.
Why EnergyU for Lineworkers?
We are losing our most knowledgeable and capable lineworkers. How will we replace them? How will we train new, probably much younger workers? How should we train workers—young and old—and what role can technology play in doing this better and cheaper?
Much of existing training is old and almost 100% classroom and field. While these materials may be a good foundation, we need a less expensive way to train lineworkers with updated materials. While EnergyU online training and testing provides a low-cost means of making sure lineworkers are up to date in their knowledge, there was more to the driving force behind creation of the Electric Lineworker catalog:
- The wave of retirements that will be coming in the next few years.
- The need for most utilities to update their materials.
- The trend toward more—and documented—refresher training.
What's in the Future?
The big question is the extent to which regulation will shape the electric landscape. The future of regulation in the electric industry is not at all clear. However, given MEA’s experience in developing the gas OQ materials, we decided early on to develop electric materials under the same methodology: utilizing industry-consensus materials and subject matter expert involvement. The testing and recordkeeping elements are consistent with meeting regulatory concerns. In all, utilities can feel good that these materials will provide training that has a strong developmental foundation.
EnergyU provides electronically-delivered learning courses and knowledge assessments, performance evaluation criteria guides (PECGs), and performance evaluation forms (PEFs) for the field evaluations.
The industry-consensus content was vetted by subject matter experts. Courses were developed using proven adult learner methodologies. Incorporation of adult learning principles and a variety of multi-media elements helps maintain engagement and increase retention.
Many electric utilities are successfully integrating this online training with their apprentice and journeyman-refresher training programs. A complement—not a replacement—for current training, EnergyU is often used to prepare students for classroom training, making instructor-led sessions more focused and valuable.