August 2018, Vol. 245, No. 8

Features

Creating a Labor Force in Your Own Back Yard

Spotlight on Utilities By Michael Reed, Managing Editor As far back as 2013, Consumers Energy, which has almost 28,000 miles of gas mains to maintain throughout Michigan, became painfully aware of what has become an increasingly obvious challenge throughout the industry. At that time, the company needed to hire 150 workers to beef up its efforts to upgrade its pipelines as part of an enhanced infrastructure replacement program. And, when about 4,000 applicants from job fairs responded it appeared filling all the positions quickly would be a simple enough task. However, after screening the candidates, only 50 of the applicants were found to be qualified. That’s when management decided it

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