It’s National Infrastructure Week! PECO is joining organizations across the country in raising awareness about the current state of infrastructure, the challenges, policies and laws impacting the industry, and the need for prioritizing and investing in transformative infrastructure projects in our communities. This week, filled with events led by nonprofit United For Infrastructure, is also a time to recognize the positive momentum the utility industry has continued to build over the years as we invest in a resilient and sustainable future for the places we live, serve, and work.  

Infrastructure is the backbone of our society that supports modern everyday life, ensuring people have access to safe and reliable service that power their homes and businesses. At PECO, our customers are the focus of everything we do. As such, we implemented a strategic investment plan to enhance energy infrastructure, making it more resilient amidst intensifying weather patterns while supporting cleaner energy resources like solar and electric vehicles. 

These efforts ladder up to PECO’s investment of approximately $9.3 billion over the next five years across our electric and natural gas systems to complete targeted system enhancements and corrective maintenance, invest in new equipment, inspect equipment, and perform necessary tree trimming and other vegetation management. 

In addition to targeted reliability-focused infrastructure investments, PECO is on a mission to enhance the employability of those in our region, as community workforce development is a vital aspect of our infrastructure development strategy. One way we achieve this is through our Infrastructure Academies.  

The Infrastructure Academy is a three-day class designed to prepare job seekers with the skills they need to secure a career in the energy industry. It provides participants with hands-on experience and guidance from PECO employees, where they receive an overview of the company, engage in mock interviews, and observe demonstrations that show them how to safely work in craft positions. Through this experience, participants also learn what area best suits them and collaborate with a PECO partner that offers preparation for professional exams alongside basic life skills and training. 

With the success of this workforce development initiative, PECO expanded the program last year and introduced the Jr. Infrastructure Academy to empower high school students interested in utility industry careers. PECO’s Jr. Infrastructure Academy branches out to counties throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, increasing awareness of the career possibilities in the energy industry and equipping students with the skills they need to begin that journey.  

For PECO, eliminating barriers and creating opportunities within and outside the company guides our investment in workforce development initiatives and partnerships. Our workforce development programming for youth and young adults also underscores our ongoing commitment to STEM education and awareness. Since the inception of the Jr. Infrastructure Academy, PECO has partnered with seven different high schools, drawing in nearly 200 students across the counties. Additionally, we’re heading into our sixth Infrastructure Academy, which has educated hundreds of participants and brought in nearly 30 new employees to the company. 

From investing in reliability and resilience strategies to facilitating end-to-end job placement workshops aimed at creating a healthier and more equitable economy, PECO is committed to improving infrastructure and addressing economic inequities in underserved communities with disproportionately high unemployment and wealth gaps. Empowering our region’s workforce and enhancing our infrastructure is essential to keeping the lights on and natural gas flowing for PECO’s customers across southeastern Pennsylvania. 

For more information on National Infrastructure Week, please click here.