PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2017

Career Pathways

To keep pace with the transformational change in our industry, PG&E’s focus is on developing a next-generation workforce with the skills and expertise needed to operate our business safely, meet customer needs and explore the new frontiers opened by technology.

Our Approach

PG&E has a two-fold approach for preparing for the large percentage of employees who will become eligible to retire in the next five years. First, we are cultivating emerging leaders within PG&E by providing best-in-class training and development pathways for employees to grow within the organization. Our goal is to continuously improve the quality of our training programs and hire from within our own ranks whenever possible. Second, we engage in active community outreach to identify and hire potential candidates for employment.


PG&E’s nationally recognized PowerPathway™ program continues to play a central role in our workforce development strategy. Students enrolled in the program receive industry-specific training that addresses the academic, vocational and physical abilities students will need to enter the energy industry workforce.

Created in 2008, the program targets those who are out of work or underemployed, and has a strong focus on enhancing opportunities for women and those who have served our country in the military.

PowerPathway involves close collaboration with our local communities—including community colleges, community-minded organizations, unions and the public workforce development system—to attract and train future workers in the skills necessary for a career in the gas and electric business. The program is helping to create a pipeline of qualified candidates, with a growing number of graduates finding employment at PG&E.

Military Outreach and Support

PG&E has been a strong supporter of training and hiring veterans and military members and recognizes the invaluable skills and perspectives they can offer companies looking for mature, highly qualified employees.

Internally, more than 1,100 employees, both veterans and those who support them, are part of PG&E’s Veterans Employee Resource Group.

Targeted Recruiting

In 2016, we reached nearly 10,000 new potential jobseekers through sourcing and events. More than 7,000 of these were from recruiting outreach efforts specific to minority, women, veteran, individuals with disabilities, and LGBTQ communities. PG&E’s job prospect relationship management system included 43 percent minority, female, individuals with disabilities and veteran candidate leads by the end of 2016.

University Programs

PG&E offers summer internships for students and entry-level engineer and other rotational programs for recent college graduates to introduce emerging professionals to new work experiences and career development opportunities.

Employee Technical Training

For employees, we provide a range of technical training on the knowledge and skills to perform their jobs safely using approved tools and work procedures. These courses help prepare our workforce as we integrate new technologies, systems and processes into our operations. Consistent with PG&E’s commitment to ensuring all employees are qualified to perform their assigned tasks over the duration of their careers, PG&E offers a range of skill refresher and employee development courses.

Historically, much of this hands-on training is provided at our two primary training facilities: the 44-acre Livermore Training and Qualification Center and the San Ramon Valley Conference Center. Beyond these facilities, we bring the classroom to employees with our virtual learning studio and two mobile training centers that allow for on-site instruction.

In 2016, we continued to make progress on a $75 million, state-of-the-art Gas Operations technical training center in Winters, California. Once construction is complete in 2017, the facility will employ approximately 50 full-time employees and provide about 36,000 technical training hours per year, with 100 to 150 students on site each day.

Leadership and Employee Development

PG&E’s long-term strategic planning includes employee and leadership development, as well as succession planning.

All new employees begin their time at PG&E with a full-day onboarding program where they learn about our history, vision, values and safety culture. To support employees’ growth throughout their careers, PG&E offers a variety of career development tools and courses, a mentoring program, tuition reimbursement for qualifying education expenses, temporary rotational assignments and other tools to help them grow in their current roles and advance.

PG&E has committed to continually fill 75 percent of management vacancies in the positions of director-level and higher with internal candidates. Our focus on hiring from within the organization has helped keep the turnover rate at PG&E low, with less than 5 percent of new employees leaving voluntarily within one to three years from their hire date. That retention record places PG&E within the first quartile among gas and electric providers.

Our Leading Forward leadership development program features integrated training and experiences to inspire our leaders at all levels to take on industry challenges. The curriculum builds skills in areas such as safety leadership, managing operations and developing teams—all of which contribute to how we are shaping our leadership culture. Leading Forward consists of eight leadership development courses with both hands-on and classroom experiences to give participants a clear career map for continued development.

In addition, we offer two formal rotational programs:

  • MBA Leadership Program, a two-year program that places graduates from the nation’s top business schools in positions to work on some of our toughest business challenges and prepare them for long-term leadership careers.
  • Engineer Rotational Development Program, an 18-month program in partnership with Stanford University, which gives employees the opportunity to earn a PG&E Engineering Management certification.

2016 Milestones

In 2016, notable PowerPathway program accomplishments included:

  • Graduated the first-ever class comprised of active-duty military members. The first cohort of participants—all service members stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a U.S. Army-U.S. Air Force installation—graduated from the program, held at Bates Technical College in Tacoma, Washington.
  • Graduated first PowerPathway class in Bakersfield. The first class of PowerPathway students in Kern County graduated after completing a nine-week training program that provided them critical skills that could help them land jobs in the energy industry.
  • Completed the second direct hire PowerPathway program for military veterans. We developed a four-week training program to help military veterans transition to roles in PG&E’s Customer Care organization. The program produced 20 highly qualified customer service representatives, all of whom transferred to positions in PG&E’s Sacramento Contact Center.

We also continued to make strides toward our leadership and employee development goals. Highlights included:

  • Continued Leading Forward by offering courses for newly hired or promoted leaders, directors and officers to accelerate their development, as well as a program for employees with supervisory potential.
  • Continued our Apprentice Line Worker Program, a comprehensive five-year program designed to develop the safest and most proficient line workers in the industry through a combination of field and classroom work.

Measuring Progress

The wide variety of PowerPathway programs—ranging from customer service representatives to gas pipeline inspectors—are adding new, diverse and qualified candidates to the energy industry’s talent pool. By the end of 2016, more than 800 people—including 477 veterans—had graduated from one of the programs. Approximately 80 percent of program graduates have gone on to find employment in the energy industry. Other program highlights include:

  • 133 program graduates in 2016 and
  • 417 graduates hired into PG&E since 2008.

Additionally, as part of our continuing commitment to our employees, we delivered more than 791,000 hours of technical, leadership and employee training in 2016. To measure the success of that training, participating employees complete surveys and provide feedback on how much the training has increased their knowledge. For courses that teach technical skills or reinforce skills that involve high-consequence tasks, every employee is required to pass an assessment that covers both knowledge and skills gained.

At PG&E Academy, our in-house organization charged with enhancing employees’ skills and qualifications, we introduced a new five-point scale survey in 2014, asking employees to rate their ability to use training on the job. In 2016, training effectiveness measured 4.48, which exceeded our goal of 4.45.

Looking Ahead

PG&E will remain focused on training, developing and retaining top talent from across our service area and beyond. Via our PowerPathway program, community outreach and recruiting, and university programs, we continue to build skills to support employment in our community and careers in energy.

We also remain committed to delivering high-quality training across a broad spectrum of categories to build and maintain a qualified, motivated and skilled workforce. This includes a new Safety Leadership Program, designed to strengthen skills among our crew leads. This hands-on, interactive course will be delivered to over 1,700 leaders over three years.

With many of our employees eligible to retire in the coming years, we continue to focus on capturing the institutional knowledge gained through their years on the job by building it into our formal work practices and training, or through directly training other employees.