Duquesne Light Company (DLC)

Pre-Apprenticeship & Educator in the Workforce Programs

Educator in the Workforce

A two-week teacher internship program geared toward exposing educators to careers at DLC that do not require a four-year degree. Participants are paid $28/hour and can earn Act 48 credits. In addition to compensation and credits, teachers are required to create and present a lesson plan based on their experience at the company to encourage real-world applications in the classroom. The 2019 Pilot program hosted seven educators.

Pre-Apprenticeship Program

A three-week program, it prepares seniors in high school for the Construction and Skilled Trade Selection System exam (CAST), that is required for entry-level line worker positions with DLC; it acts as a precursor to the Electrical Distribution Technology (EDT) Apprenticeship program. The prep course focuses on soft skills and technical skills (math and science) required to pass the CAST exam. One goal of the program is to diversify the candidate pool, particularly to increase the number of people of color passing the exam and entering the program. Students receive $10/hour for participating and can utilize transportation assistance, if needed. This program specifically focuses on diversifying the talent pipeline and accessibility to all populations for opportunities with DLC.

Electrical Distribution Technology (EDT) Apprenticeship Program

This one-year program targets high school graduates not pursuing post-secondary education. Candidates who complete the program receive an EDT certificate from the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) and become members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union (IBEW). During the program, students are given two paid internship opportunities where they can earn up to $17,000. Graduates of the EDT program are considered for full-time employment at Duquesne Light.

About These Programs

“We ultimately want to have the most impact in supporting underserved communities and groups while at the same time looking to build a strong foundation for our future workforce.”

Best Practices

Partner with training professionals

The apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs are being developed in partnership with CCAC. The college will also assist in the development and training delivery. DLC personnel are working with CCAC to credential the pre-apprenticeship program.

Pay students and teachers for their time

DLC believes that paying program participants promotes retention and helps motivate young people to apply for the program. DLC designs programs to be both educational and economically viable for participating youth to improve inclusivity and access.

About Duquesne Light Company

Duquesne Light Company (DLC) is a regional utilities company, headquartered locally in Pittsburgh. DLC has a long history of investing in community initiatives as a way to give back. In 2017 alone,  the company donated nearly $1.7 million to 40 organizations across Allegheny and Beaver counties, and employees volunteered more than 3,000 hours of community service. DLC recently created a new staff position: Senior Talent Development and Diversity Inclusion Associate. This role has been designed to help manage and facilitate creating an interest in the energy sector as well as in the company. The company’s board has prioritized recruiting additional diverse talent and creating a workforce pipeline for the company upon the realization that 25% of the personnel in the company will be retiring in five years. Because of this priority, Duquesne Light is funding two business education partnerships beginning in early 2019: an 1) Educator in the Workforce and a 2) Pre-Apprenticeship program.

High school students graduate from the EDT Boot Camp Program (July 2019)