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Alabama Power recognized for workforce development excellence

Alabama Power has long dedicated efforts to building and strengthening the future of the energy industry’s workforce. The Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) recently recognized the company with two Impact Awards for its efforts.

CEWD’s Impact Awards honor excellence by individuals and companies for their leadership in workforce development initiatives that will have a lasting impact on the development of a skilled, diverse talent pipeline for the energy sector.

Alabama Power received the Community Partnership Awardwhich recognizes companies for developing unique connections within the community – with educators, minority-facing organizations, workforce systems or other groups – that have yielded demonstrated results.

“Alabama Power has prioritized building vital and unique community-based partnerships that fuel consistent, skilled and diverse talent pipelines,” said Tom McNeal, Workforce Development Program manager. “Success has only been possible due to collaboration across departments including Power Delivery, Technical Training, HR, Talent Acquisition and Workforce Development. It has truly been a team effort to build these relationships and programs across Alabama.”

The Alabama Community College Pre-Apprentice Lineworker Program is one such initiative that has connected Alabama Power to communities around the state. The program is an educational partnership in which Alabama Power, utility contractors, and co-ops and municipalities access a diverse pipeline of entry-level talent from community college partners to support present and future energy-career hiring needs.

The 10-week program teaches students how to set and climb poles, install hardware and power lines, and use tools and equipment of the trade through field experience. Students also learn electric theory and practice, safety, teamwork and interpersonal skills.

The program began in January 2020 at Bishop State Community College, with additional programs launched at Jefferson State Community College, Lawson State Community College and Trenholm State Community College.

Jeff Peoples

Jeff Peoples, Alabama Power executive vice president of Customer and Employee Services, received the CEWD’s Workforce Champion Award. This recognition celebrates individuals who have shown extraordinary leadership in the workforce development arena by creating meaningful change that will influence, mobilize and energize a diverse, skilled talent pipeline. Recipients demonstrate innovation, leadership and stewardship in their company and the industry.

“We are committed to supporting efforts that develop our state’s workforce and provide quality jobs in Alabama communities,” Peoples said. “It is an honor for our team to be recognized by the Center for Energy Workforce Development.”

Peoples was recognized for his work in creating training programs for lineworkers, HVAC specialists, utility assistants, and instrumentation and controls (I&C) technicians; and his role on Alabama Power’s Council on Culture and Inclusion (CCI), including the Helmets to Hardhats program for veterans and service members, and his leadership in partnership opportunities with Alabama’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

CEWD is a nonprofit group of energy companies, contractors, associations, unions, educators and business partners working together to ensure a skilled, diverse workforce pipeline to meet future industry needs. CEWD’s coordinated approach to workforce development has united electric, natural gas and nuclear firms, as well as renewables, electric vehicle infrastructure and energy storage partners.