Taylor spent her junior year of high school sawing, hammering and framing out tiny homes with students at the Construction Careers Academy. This summer, she worked at CPS Energy with a different set of tools to build a new skillset. Taylor Chavez, an incoming senior at Warren High School, gained hands-on experience working with our linemen. She is one of six students that interned as distribution trainees and one of the first female interns to complete the new internship program.
The new internship launched last summer with three interns from MacArthur High School as part of the Students Interested in Technical Education (SITE) program. Along with learning about the tools of the trade, she’s been helping our crews install new electric distribution lines for our growing community.
“I’ve learned how to make transformers, how to use a hand line, and a lot more,” said Taylor. “It makes me want to be in the field even more than I wanted before. I did this internship to see if I wanted to be out in the field more and I do. I really like it a lot.”
Taylor said one of her favorite experiences this summer was working with Line Crew Foreman Will Schneider to learn how to replace a 50-foot distribution pole. He showed her how to use equipment to remove the old pole, put a new one in place and safely use a tamper to pat down the soil surrounding the pole.
Will said he’s glad to see the interns learning from our linemen and gaining work experience. Along with giving students a valuable learning opportunity, it gives CPS Energy a chance to tap into the next generation of utility workers.
“It’s blood, sweat, and tears out here, but it’s a rewarding career,” said Will, who has more than 25 years of service. “We started the internship program because we need to strike an interest with the next generation.”
Spectrum News ran a story about the interns during their last day on the job. Click here to check it out.
During the last week of her internship, Taylor helped crews install new power lines on the access road of I-10 near Old Fredericksburg Rd. As the temperature began climbing into the upper 90s, Taylor wiped off the sweat, grabbed a bolt cutter and went to work. With skill and patience, she safely installed a pole ground – a wire that sends electricity straight to the ground in the event of an electrical fault. She finished by carefully hammering in the thin wood covering that protects the wire. “There you go, Taylor. Nice job!” said one of the linemen. “Thanks!” she said with a grin. Then, she went right back to work.