We attract, engage, develop and retain a diverse team of employees by implementing innovative recruiting methods, developing robust career management and leadership development opportunities, and offering competitive and flexible total rewards.
As one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, we depend on highly trained, dedicated and motivated employees to provide electricity safely and reliably to our customers. Attracting and retaining these employees requires implementing creative recruiting strategies to build a more diverse workforce, establish and promote a competitive employment brand and foster the next generation of utility workers.
FirstEnergy hired more than 900 full-time employees in 2018. Covering a wide range of skillsets, these positions included more than 160 professional hires and 800 craft, administrative and technical employees.
We are committed to recruiting and hiring a workforce that reflects the demographics of the communities we serve. As one component of the annual D&I Index in our KPIs, we measure the diversity of our external professional hires. In 2018, 37% of our external hires were diverse based on gender, race, ethnicity or disability status.
Additionally, we build and sustain relationships with various diverse professional organizations, including the Society of Women Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers and the National Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. We attend diversity-focused career fairs and national conferences, as well as distribute job postings to a diverse network of regional contacts, including Urban Leagues, Veterans Affairs offices, academic institutions and consortiums, and community and student organizations. We also require a diverse slate of qualified candidates be presented to hiring managers for all professional positions.
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We offer a variety of programs for students that provide valuable experience and skill-building opportunities, allowing us to hire and develop the next generation of our workforce.
Our Co-op/Intern program is open to students enrolled in bachelor’s and master’s degree programs at accredited colleges and universities, and covers a wide range of academic disciplines, including engineering, information technology, supply chain, finance, accounting and business management. Students in the program are provided meaningful and challenging work assignments and professional development, mentorship and networking opportunities. In 2018, 133 students participated in the Co-op/Intern Program. Of the students that graduated, 67% were hired into full-time positions with FirstEnergy.
Our Power Systems Institute (PSI) is an award-winning, one-of-a-kind program focused on recruiting and developing the next generation of line and substation workers. We partner with colleges throughout our service territory to provide a 21-month program that combines classroom learning, technical training and 10 weeks of field experience. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates receive an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electric Utility Technology and are eligible to be hired by FirstEnergy. Since the PSI program’s inception, we have hired more than 2,000 graduates across our service territory.
Our companywide talent and leadership development efforts provide the technology and programs to help employees and leaders connect to their work and enhance their careers at FirstEnergy.
With nearly 100 years of service to West Virginia customers, Mon Power made history in June 2019 when its first-ever female line worker joined the workforce. Ashley Morris is a recent graduate of our PSI program and just the beginning of our efforts to build a diverse and inclusive team at FirstEnergy.
Total Rewards is our comprehensive compensation and benefits package that helps keep our employees healthy, motivated and rewarded for their role in the success of our business.
Our HealthyLiving Program provides opportunities and incentives for employees and eligible spouses and domestic partners to improve their health and well-being.
Our time-off programs are designed to promote a healthy work-life balance and provide flexibility in how employees take paid leave. Family Care Leave provides up to two weeks paid leave for qualifying events such as birth of a child, adoption or caring for sick parents. Volunteer Time Off (VTO) offers employees paid time off to volunteer in our communities. This VTO program provides all eligible employees 16 hours of VTO annually. Our flexible work policy allows for compressed schedules, work-from-home arrangements and flexible start times.
We are committed to rewarding individual and business unit efforts through a total compensation program that includes competitive base and incentive pay. The Short-Term Incentive Program provides incentives to employees for performance on crucial financial and operational goals, outlined in the company’s KPIs.
This Plan assists all regular, full-time employees, including union members, with the costs of satisfactorily completed courses of study directly related to our business, up to a maximum of $5,250 per year. In 2018, we reimbursed 249 employees for a total of nearly $800,000.