10-week Union Scholars Program provides real-world electric utility training to 9 high school students
This week, United Illuminating, a subsidiary of Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), together with the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) Local 470-1, announced the launch of the Union Scholars Program, a 10-week internship for nine rising high school seniors to receive training in electric utility lineworking. The Union Scholars Program is the first of its kind across Avangrid companies, and it leads the electric utility industry in providing offers of employment to the students, contingent on their successful completion of the program, high school graduation, and being 18 years of age or older.
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The Union Scholars (middle in yellow shirts) joined Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra, UI President & CEO Frank Reynolds, UWUA Local 470-1 President Moses Rams, Avangrid SVP/CHRO Kyra Patterson, Senior Manager of Regional Operations Christine Pariseau, and members of the UI team at the Union Scholars Program launch.
“I am pleased to welcome nine talented students to Avangrid for the summer to take part in our company’s first-ever Union Scholars Program,” said Pedro Azagra, CEO of Avangrid, Inc. “With the challenges our industry faces, from making our systems increasingly sustainable while ensuring top-notch reliability, it is critical that Connecticut’s best and brightest join our team, and that is exactly what these Union Scholars represent. I am proud they have chosen to work with us this summer, and the door is open to them for future opportunities within our company.”
Following a rigorous recruitment and interview process, UI’s Senior Manager of Regional Operations Christine Pariseau, Avangrid’s Human Resources team, and UWUA Local 470-1 President Moses Rams selected nine students from technical high schools in the UI service territory to participate in the paid internship and training program. Five of the Union Scholars will graduate next year from Eli Whitney Technical High School in Hamden, and four will graduate from Bullard-Havens Technical High School in Bridgeport. Throughout the summer, they will receive training with the Overhead Line School and Underground Line School apprentices, and their supervisors at UI aim to connect them with linecrews doing operations and maintenance work in their own communities.
“The Union Scholars Program is a testament to UI’s commitment to investing in the future of our workforce,” said Frank Reynolds, President & CEO of United Illuminating. “By recruiting students from technical high schools in two of our state’s largest cities, UI is showcasing the depth of our commitment to building a workforce that is diverse, inclusive, and honed right here in Connecticut. With this innovative internship program, we are truly leading the electric utility industry, and I look forward to watching the Union Scholars succeed this summer and into the future.”
“I am grateful to Avangrid’s Human Resources department, the UWUA Local 470-1, and Avangrid’s leadership team for bringing the Union Scholars Program to fruition this week,” said Kyra Patterson, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Avangrid, Inc. “To create a talent pipeline from Bridgeport and New Haven technical schools to good-paying union jobs demonstrates Avangrid’s investment in the communities we serve, and the enthusiasm this program generated at the schools we recruited from demonstrates the value this partnership will bring to our region.”
“The Union Scholars Program has been a dream of ours for many years, and thanks to the collective efforts of Avangrid’s Human Resources team and UWUA Local 470-1, it has now become a reality,” said Moses Rams, Chief Line Crew Leader at UI and President of UWUA Local 470-1. “Alongside Christine and our linecrew members, I look forward to showing the talented Union Scholars the important work linecrews do every day, while providing them with a safe, successful summer internship experience.”
About UI: The United Illuminating Company (UI) is a subsidiary of Avangrid, Inc. Established in 1899, UI operates approximately 3,600 miles of electric distribution lines and 138 miles of transmission lines. It serves approximately 341,000 customers in the greater New Haven and Bridgeport areas of Connecticut. UI received the Edison Electric Institute’s Emergency Recovery Award in 2019 and 2021. For more information, visit www.uinet.com.
About Avangrid: Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) aspires to be the leading sustainable energy company in the United States. Headquartered in Orange, CT with approximately $41 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states, Avangrid has two primary lines of business: networks and renewables. Through its networks business, Avangrid owns and operates eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Through its renewables business, Avangrid owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. Avangrid employs more than 7,500 people and has been recognized by JUST Capital in 2021, 2022 and 2023 as one of the JUST 100 companies – a ranking of America’s best corporate citizens. In 2023, Avangrid ranked first within the utility sector for its commitment to the environment. The company supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2023 for the fifth consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute. Avangrid is a member of the group of companies controlled by Iberdrola, S.A. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.