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Alabama Power Joins Utility Training Trust

October 8, 2009

The Alabama Power Company – one of the largest energy companies in the South – is the latest utility to sign on to the joint labor-management National Utility Training Trust.

“With our ideal geographic location and state-of-the-art training facilities and programs, we believe that partnering with you on this endeavor will result in the establishment of the best regional utility training center in the nation,” said Alabama Power President Charles McCrary in a letter to IBEW International President Edwin D. Hill.

The trust was formed in January of 2008 as a joint agreement between the IBEW and three major utilities – Kansas City Power and Light, DTE Energy and Tucson Electric Power – to help confront the coming skilled workers shortage in the energy industry. The foundation of the agreement is regional training centers which will prepare new hires for good-paying, secure careers and offer core training for veterans.

“When we offer and deliver training to youth or to workers approaching middle age who have worked hard and played by the rules – but lost their jobs in other sectors – we are dipping a bucket into a well of goodwill,” Hill said.

For U-19 coordinating council Business Manager Bill Frederick, who represents more than 3,000 IBEW members at Alabama Power, the goodwill and productive relationship built up between the utility and the IBEW encouraged leaders of the company to collaborate more closely with the Brotherhood in the recruiting and training new workers.

The new agreement adds a fifth training center to the trust. The joint training center, located near Birmingham, will also continue to be open to smaller power companies through the state.

“The confidence was there,” Frederick said. “Management values its relationship with the IBEW, (Utility Department Director) Jim Hunter and President Hill and it wanted to expand on that.”