Learning at OPPD Interview with Ron Johansen, Division Manager – Facilities and Material Management By Christopher Meyer
Overview • Introduction • Interview • Conclusion
Introduction • Omaha Public Power District • Interview: Ron Johansen, Division Manager – Facilities & Material Management • Material Management
Interview (1 of 4) • How has OPPD handled education - internal, and external such as continuing education at a university - in the past for staff personnel? • Internal: Role specific technical training is decentralized and targeted to employees according to business unit in which they work (e.g., IT, Customer Service, power generation, T&D, etc.). • HR-sponsored in house and external professional/management development programs are offered to targeted leaders and high potential employees. • For craft personnel? • Craft workers must complete one of several role specific multi-year apprenticeship programs. Once they are qualified via an apprenticeship program, skilled craft workers continue to receive targeted technical training on an as needed basis.
Interview (2 of 4) • What are OPPD's education programs today - both staff and craft? • See responses above. • What universities, companies, and professional organizations does OPPD partner with to advance learning in the District? • OPPD offers higher education tuition assistance to all full time, regular employees via the company's Employee Education Program. The EEP program targets business-related degrees - obtained through accredited community colleges, four-year colleges/universities, etc. Approximately 125 employees participate in the program at any given time. Reimbursement is available for both classroom-based and online degree programs. Also, the District partners with Metro Community College to develop and provide technical training programs for employees. The company has strategic recruiting partnerships with several universities in the region - UNO, UNL, Creighton, K-State, ISU, Missouri S&T.
Interview (3 of 4) • What are OPPD's goals for learning and education in the future? • Employee technical training and professional development have been long-time priorities of the District. Driven by baby boomer retirements and rapid changes in the industry, employee development will continue to be a company priority. • What, if any, new programs will be offered through OPPD in the future? • New industry- specific technical training programs are offered to targeted employees (e.g., nuclear technical training, Safety Leadership training, new technical training programs.) • Or will existing programs be modified and updated to meet future education demands within the company? • Existing training and development programs are continually updated to reflect industry changes and best practices.
Interview (4 of 4) • Have the increased EPA regulations and shift to other sources of energy affected OPPD's education/learning program goals, and if so how? • Increased regulatory oversight of the utility industry (e.g. EPA, NRC, OSHA, NERC, FERC, SPP, etc.) have resulted in the need for the creation of new training programs dealing with such areas as cybersecurity, wholesale energy trading, etc.
Conclusion • Introduction • Interview