PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2018

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Workforce Planning and Development

To build a thriving workforce that can keep pace with the unprecedented transformation of the energy industry, PG&E’s focus is on attracting and 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 is 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 in the military.

PowerPathway involves close collaboration with our local communities—including community colleges, community-based 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 dating back to World War I 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.

Improved Hiring Process

Having the right people in the right jobs at the right time requires a constant focus on both internal and external recruiting. In 2017, we significantly reduced PG&E’s cost per hire by focusing on local talent, strengthening governance around hiring needs and increasing consistency within the recruiting process. PG&E also deployed a new system to make the recruiting process easier and more efficient for applicants, hiring leaders and recruiters.

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 two virtual learning studios and mobile training centers that allow for on-site instruction.

We also broke ground on a new 145,100-square-foot substation training facility at PG&E’s Livermore Training Center. The facility, which will focus on electric substation operations and maintenance, is scheduled to open in 2019.

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 Mission, Vision and Culture. To support employees’ growth throughout their careers, PG&E offers a variety of career development courses, tuition reimbursement for qualifying education expenses, temporary rotational assignments and other tools to help them grow in their current roles and advance.

PG&E 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 in their second or third year with PG&E. 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 the business 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 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.

2017 Milestones

In 2017, notable accomplishments included:

  • Launched recruiting process and technology improvements. Process improvements and new technologies are helping us more quickly identify and bring on the right talent to meet the evolving needs of our business.
  • Graduated the seventh PowerPathway class. Conducted in partnership with Oakland’s Cypress Mandela Training Center, PowerPathway has prepared students for positions in PG&E’s electric and gas organizations. Nearly 96 percent of the 148 graduates have been hired by PG&E and other employers such as East Bay Municipal Utility District, AT&T, BART and Caltrans.
  • Kicked off the first phase of a redesigned performance management process. The new process will be simpler for both employees and leaders to use and will emphasize regular feedback and ongoing career development conversations.

We also continued to make strides toward our leadership and employee development goals through our apprentice line worker program, a comprehensive five-year initiative 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 candidates to the energy industry’s qualified talent pool. By the end of 2017, more than 800 people—including nearly 500 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 21 program graduates in 2017 and 457 graduates hired into PG&E since 2008.

Additionally, as part of our continuing commitment to our employees, we delivered more than 689,360 hours of technical, leadership and employee training in 2017. To measure success, 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 2017, training effectiveness reached our goal of 4.52.

Looking Ahead

PG&E will remain focused on training, developing and retaining top talent from across our service area. Through strategically enhancing our performance management process—making it more responsive and interactive—we plan to further the development of our employees and strengthen alignment with our business goals.

We also remain committed to delivering high-quality training and development across a broad spectrum of categories to build and maintain a qualified, motivated and skilled workforce. This includes a new safety program called Reach Every Employee that will give everyone at PG&E the opportunity to speak with their leader about their safety ideas and concerns.

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.