CPS Energy interns Justin and Jose felt like things came full circle for them at the SA Works Job Shadow Day on Tuesday. They proudly stood in front of hundreds of local high school students to share about their experience working with our Power Generation team. Not long ago, Justin Martinez, 20, and Jose Cortina, 18, were in the same shoes as the students, eager to learn about the rewarding careers they could pursue after graduation. Now, both are pursuing their dream job, working on a degree in advanced manufacturing at St. Philip’s College. They attend classes two days a week and spend the other three days learning the role of an Instrumentation & Controls (I&C) technician at our Company. I&C techs play a critical role in keeping various types of equipment throughout our power plants operating safely and efficiently.
Students weren’t the only ones eager to hear from the young prodigies. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, who spoke at a press conference prior to the event, pulled Justin aside to ask about his experience with the Texas Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (TX FAME) program. The federation is a public-private partnership between the Alamo Colleges, Bexar County Economic & Community Development, and local manufacturers that was created in 2016 to address a shortage of skilled workers. Our Company, which employs I&C techs, joined TX FAME to create a local career pipeline for the position.
At the press conference, Wolff shared Justin’s story as a good example of developing local talent to boost our community’s workforce.
“That’s what we want everybody to be doing in San Antonio – develop a skill, get a talent and determine how much further you want to go with your education,” he said. “It may be a certificate, it may be an associate degree, or you may decide to get a 4-year degree. The main thing is if we don’t develop a talented workforce we will not progress in San Antonio.”
Rudy Garza, Senior Vice President of Distribution Services & Operations at CPS Energy, said he’s proud our Company was part of the job shadow day, which hosted 3,000 students from 45 local high schools community-wide. CPS Energy, one of more than 100 local employers to participate, hosted more than 200 students. Students got a behind-the-scenes look at more than a dozen of our Company’s various teams.
“I hope it sparks their interest and helps them learn more about opportunities,” said Rudy. “We’ve had students visit us on job shadow day and come back as summer interns. And one day we hope to see them back as employees.”
Rudy pointed out that five of the nine summer interns working in various roles last year in Distribution Services & Operations were hired on as trainees, an entry level position for line crews.
During the event, Dorian Moreno, a sophomore at South San High School, expressed interest in taking part in an internship with the Underground Integrated Operations team. Enrique Lara, General Designer 2 of Distribution Engineering, and Jason Acebedo, Journeyman Cable Splicer, encouraged the eager student to apply before the deadline on Friday, Feb. 15.
If you’re interested in getting hands-on experience for a future career in the energy industry, we have many paid summer internships available. Visit cpsenergy.com/internship for more details.