Ameren Illinois is teaming up with education and labor partners to promote Careers in Energy Week – today through October 20 – to highlight job opportunities at Ameren Illinois. The initiative is showcasing work that will support the company’s $1 billion investment in the energy delivery system in central and southern Illinois over the next 10 years.
"Job growth is priority number one to get the state’s economy back on track and Ameren Illinois’ energy infrastructure investments are a direct path to job growth," said Richard J. Mark, President and CEO of Ameren Illinois. "We’re bringing on more than 600 new workers in the next few years to implement a variety of projects to upgrade the grid."
As part of an additional $1 billion in infrastructure investments, the company is replacing and refurbishing underground distribution cables, fortifying utility poles, refurbishing high pressured gas pipelines, and installing intelligent switches and sensors that can quickly detect and isolate power outages and enable services to be restored faster. Along with advanced meters, these changes will provide utility customers with more options to control their energy usage and save money. It also means job opportunities for hundreds of new workers.
"We’re looking for individuals with a strong work ethic and a passion for delivering value to customers," said John Fey, Senior Director of Human Resources and Employee Relations at Ameren Illinois. "Each position requires a distinct competency, and we’re committed to finding the most qualified individuals to help us meet our company’s goals."
Travion Brock is one of the 85 apprentice linemen participating in the Ameren Illinois apprentice program. Brock said he needed a change from his desk job and now enjoys the challenge of being responsible for maintaining the Ameren Illinois system.
"I’ve been in the apprenticeship program almost three years. The trainers teach us how to work safely and want us to be as good if not better than them," Brock said. "To know that I’m the guy at two o’clock in the morning turning everybody’s lights on, and having a customer give a hats off to me, that’s a reward in itself."
In recent months, Ameren Illinois has forged partnerships with state high school districts to plan for implementation of Science Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)-based curriculum to educate students and teachers on the range of technical skills necessary for a successful career in energy. Tours of substations and other Ameren Illinois facilities, as well as job fairs are being planned across the company’s service territory over the next year.
"A job in the energy field has always been a great career," Mark said. "The next generation of our workforce has the opportunity to do something truly special: to build a next generation energy delivery system that is flexible and robust enough to meet our customers’ expectations."
About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 806,000 natural gas customers in Illinois, and our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com or find us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois.