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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Verdugo Workforce Investment Board

Powerful Collaboration

Workforce Challenge

For many years, Glendale Water & Power (GWP) was experiencing labor shortages of utility workers, particularly linemen, due to an aging workforce and competitive hiring. For two years, the utility company attempted to resolve the problem with few tangible results. The average age of a utility worker in the U.S. is 48. Other larger utility companies were also experiencing labor shortages and simply raised wage rates high enough to recruit workers from smaller utility companies.

Workforce Solution

By using stimulus funding from the Verdugo Workforce Investment Board, Glendale Water and Power teamed with Glendale Community College (GCC) to develop a 600-hour training program for utility workers. This curriculum is one of the few WIB-sponsored and community college-developed utility training programs in the country. The WIB recruited unemployed workers; GCC provided the training together with GWP; and the WIB provided job placement.

Outcomes & Benefits

Eighty-two-percent of the first two classes of 40 people have landed jobs. A third class of 20 just graduated. The WIB and GCC recently received a state-wide award from the community college vocational education as the top partnership in the state. The project was mentioned in the U.S. Congressional Record by local Congressman Adam Schiff. This success helped GCC win a related $750,000 Dept. of Energy training grant for smart grid. In addition, the WIB secured a $250,000 Dept. of Labor Pathway Out of Poverty grant based on this successful collaboration with its local educational institution.

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