Last week, the female students from the CNX Foundation Mentorship Academy convened north of Pittsburgh to spend the day at the Eaton Power Systems Experience Center (PSEC).
Eaton’s Pittsburgh Experience Center is a state-of-the-art facility allowing visitors to see firsthand the latest advances in electrical power quality, energy management, and safety. The facility is an impressive example as to why Eaton is the world leader in all things power related. And make no mistake about it, power and companies like Eaton make the world run.
It was immediately obvious the Eaton culture starts with the tone at the top.
Students were greeted in the morning with welcoming comments from the company’s President – Americas, Brian Brickhouse. Then Dan Carnovale, Eaton’s lead instructor at the PSEC, held court throughout the day; consisting of everything from short talks by employees who spent their careers at Eaton and in the power industry, to hands-on sessions throughout the facility where students had the opportunity to train on technologies and processes in power systems.
Eaton’s partners at the PSEC were also key participants through the day.
Regional electric contractor Ferry Electric built, maintains, and continually updates the constantly evolving PSEC so that it remains best-in-class. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 5 spoke to the students about apprenticeship programs and career paths as electricians that are available. The hosts for the day represented a virtuous regional economic circle: from professional electricians (IBEW Local 5) to dedicated electrical contractor company (Ferry Electric) to a global power systems giant (Eaton).
The day was a busy and lively one, with the students clearly engaged and taken in by the PSEC and the passion of the hosts for their careers, companies, and industry. After watching the students’ interest and listening to their engaged questions at the various training stations, it’s a safe bet that a couple of these young women will be starting their professional journey in the power industry or as electricians.
Next week the male students will visit the PSEC, and we can’t wait to see a repeat of what we saw with the young women. Eaton’s roots trace back over a century and much of it is planted in western Pennsylvania with one of its predecessor companies, Westinghouse. Seeing Eaton, Ferry Electric, and IBEW Local 5 leading the charge for this great region into the next hundred years makes this native proud.
The Mentorship Academy is an initiative of CNX Foundation and part of CNX’s commitment to investing in its local community. Designed for high school students who do not plan to immediately attend a four-year college, the Academy is focused on providing urban and rural youth from economically disadvantaged regional Appalachian communities with greater opportunities—helping provide these young adults a bridge to family-sustaining careers. Following the mentorship program, students will have developed new relationships with peers and business leaders across western Pennsylvania, a new excitement for the region’s career opportunities and an understanding of how to pursue those careers.