Summer Internship Program Offers Look at Utility Careers

Long-range planning is something we take seriously at Columbia River PUD. When lead times on orders for transformers are up to a year or longer, it is imperative to plan ahead.

That type of planning has helped us put our electric distribution system in a good place. It’s also one of the strategies we use to ensure our workforce stays in a good place.

Nearly a quarter of our team has retired in the last fie years. While jobs continue to open up as the current workforce slowly enters retirement, we are looking for the right individuals to help fill those openings.

One of the ways we have addressed this is by hiring an intern in our Engineering Department each summer. We are beginning the search for this year’s Engineering Intern.

This is a paid position for a high school senior or college student studying engineering. It’s a 40-hour per week job during the student’s summer break. Applicants must reside in our service area.

This is a great opportunity for those interested in pursuing a career in the electric industry. It provides a close-up look at how our electric system is planned, how it is built, and how it is operated. The intern will work closely with our team of Engineers to analyze data and apply that data for the benefit of our customers.

In addition, they might get a chance to see how substations are designed and how they work. They may get to see how the linemen construct projects to ensure electricity is delivered reliably throughout the community.

Providing electricity is an undertaking that includes many different aspects. With our internship program, we strive to provide an in-depth sampling of some of those aspects.

Our internship program is one of the ways we are trying to help develop skills in young people as they prepare to enter the workforce. It also serves as a window into what the utility profession is all about. I encourage anyone interested to apply. You can find the application materials here.

If you’re on the fence about whether a utility career suits you, you can request a job shadow. We offer half-day job shadows to high school and college students who live in our service area. This is a great way to get a quick glimpse at what working in our industry is really like and help learn whether it’s something you’re interested in pursuing. Email us or call our Human Resources Department at (503) 397-1844 to request information on a job shadow.