8/27/2007
PSO Supports Oklahoma State Workforce Development Program

In the coming years, there will be an abundance of opportunities for skilled workers to operate and maintain new and existing power generating facilities and PSO is on the lookout for skilled workers.  
 
To address this need, PSO and its parent American Electric Power are working with     OSU - Okmulgee to launch a new, two-year associate’s degree program in Power Plant Technology (PPT).  First classes begin Sept. 5.
 
"Between current employee demographics and the need for additional generation, there is a critical need for skilled workers with this type of educational background," explained Gary Briggs, who oversees special projects for PSO and the AEP system. 
 
"This will be a real win/win for all involved -- the school, the AEP companies and the students," Briggs said, adding, "These are great jobs with the need for skilled workers coming from PSO and partnering electric companies across the country."
 
Partner companies include Oklahoma Gas & Electric, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Western Farmers Electric Cooperative and TXU.

Gary Knight, Regional Director of Production, said that, due to the increasing complexity of jobs in power plants, advanced education has become a prerequisite for even entry-level jobs.
 
“Power plant technology programs, such as this one being implemented at OSU-Okmulgee, provide a head start for new hires and minimize the time required to achieve competency in any particular classification”, said Knight.  “With more advanced equipment, greater regulatory requirements and resources stretched to their limits, power generators like PSO need workers who already have basic skills and knowledge when they walk in the gate.”
 
PPT programs provide students with core skills and the opportunity to discover what it is like to work in a power plant. The programs typically employ a variety of learning styles including classroom presentation and hands-on learning through internships at the plants.
 
PSO has supported OSU-Okmulgee’s Construction Technology-High Voltage program since the mid-1990s.
 
That program provides students with the skills they need to fill electric utility job openings and prepares technically skilled job candidates for the distribution and transmission segments of the electric power industry. PSO´s involvement has included employing interns from the program.

For more information about OSU-Okmulgee’s Power Plant Technology Program, please contact Dolph Hayden, Engineering Department (918) 293-4609.
 
PSO, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), is an electric utility company serving approximately 520,000 customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma.  Based in Tulsa, PSO has more than 4,000 megawatts of generating capacity, and is the largest provider of wind energy in the state.  News releases and other information about PSO can be found on the World Wide Web at PSOklahoma.com.



Andrea Chancellor
Corporate Communications
918/599-2052

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