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Engaged Employees

2012 Corporate Responsibility Report

Attracting and retaining talented, motivated employees is vital to our company’s success. With a highly skilled, dedicated craft and technical workforce demonstrating a voluntary turnover rate of less than 1 percent, and an overall companywide voluntary turnover rate of less than 3 percent at the end of 2011, it is clear that we are an employer of choice in the communities we serve. 

Our workforce strategy recognizes the significant value of leveraging high schools, community colleges and four-year institutions to build our pipeline of future technicians, operators, professionals and leaders.

  • In 2011, we expanded our successful Power Careers Program to include Fleet Services and train auto mechanics in addition to the students working in Power Operations. Progress Energy created the Power Careers Program in 2002 to attract  promising high school and community college talent. The program provides students an introduction to the business of power plant operations, scholarships to support students’ completion of targeted two-year associate degrees and, in many cases, a career opportunity with our company. Since its inception, more than 115 students have graduated from the program, and 73 have been hired as regular full-time Progress Energy employees. Of those hired regular full time, 71 are still with the company, resulting in over a 97 percent retention rate for these employees.
  • Achieving excellence in project management is a critical success factor for the future of the company. In May 2008, we established the Progress Energy Project Management Center of Excellence (PMCoE) to improve our project management so that it is more efficient, flexible and cost effective, while reducing risk, complexity and redundancy. The PMCoE has:
    • Standardized processes, tools and templates;
    • Established a project-management career path that currently includes more than 90 employees;
    • Provided common training and qualification programs; and
    • Adopted best practices from both internal and industry groups.
  • To increase leadership training and effectiveness in the Nuclear Generation Group, the Nuclear Leadership Academy was launched in March 2011. Similar to the PMCoE, the Nuclear Leadership Academy will provide common training programs for the Nuclear Generation Group and has adopted best practices from the nuclear industry. In 2011, 75 employees participated in the academy and 115 more are expected to participate in 2012.
  • We are partnering with the Nuclear Energy Institute and community colleges in our service territory to pilot common nuclear operations and maintenance curricula to prepare the next generation of nuclear plant personnel.
  • Progress Energy is a member of the Carolinas Energy Workforce Consortia. This consortia represent a model for employer collaboration with education and government to develop a qualified worker pipeline, balancing workforce supply and demand. State consortia work with The Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD). Recently, CEWD received a $1.37 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to prepare low-income young adults in eight states for careers in the energy industry. The State Energy Workforce consortia in Ohio, North Carolina, Washington, Georgia, Florida, California, Indiana and Minnesota will work with 5,000 low-income young adults (ages 16-26) to assess their interest and skill levels for potential employment in skilled technician positions. Roughly 500 participants will be placed into electric and natural gas utility jobs. Others will be referred to jobs in construction and manufacturing.