AmerenUE Power Operations employees will be stepping out of their power plants this year to help high-school students learn the skilled-trade jobs that will be necessary for tomorrow’s high-tech future.
Students who successfully complete the program, pass a written test and present themselves well in an interview will then have an opportunity to get a skilled-trade job at UE.
“Think about it: We are becoming more dependent on having reliable, well-run power plants every day. But every day we lose more people to retirement than we gain in young people joining the ranks,” says Mark Birk AmerenUE vice president-Generation. “That’s a troubling reality.”
To combat this problem, last year UE joined forces with International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 148 to create mentoring programs at North Technical High School in Florissant, Mo., and South Technical High School in Sunset Hills, Mo. In the program’s initial effort, UE employees served as guest speakers to interest young people in the fields of welding, machining and electrical trades. But this fall, the program has expanded to include craftspeople demonstrating their work to eager students.
“This has been a terrific opportunity for Local 148 to work with the company to attract talented students to these critical trades,” says Local 148 Business Manager Don Giljum. “The students will be able to see real work being done. That is a priceless educational opportunity.”
Last year, five students in the program were offered opportunities in UE’s generating plants. This year, UE’s Power Operations function has officially extended the program to Construction Career Center near UE’s downtown headquarters.
“This is all part of an effort to fill vacancies as the workforce ages and ‘baby boomers’ retire,” says Birk. “It’s also a great opportunity for us to work with Local 148 while offering kids career opportunities. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
AmerenUE is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. Ameren companies serve 2.4 million electric customers and one million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
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CONTACT: Tim Fox, 314.554.3120, of AmerenUE