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Community November 15, 2023

Snohomish PUD Invites Local High School Students to Learn About Career Opportunities

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Snohomish PUD Invites Local High School Students to Learn About Career Opportunities

A group of local high school students visited the PUD’s training yard in Arlington last month to learn about possible career paths from PUD employees.

Students heard a safety presentation, had an overview of how power and electricity work, and watched an ARC Trailer demonstration before hearing from PUD workers about their jobs and getting hands-on experience with equipment used in the field.

A student works the controls of a backhoe as a PUD worker stands by to assistAaron Janisko, PUD Senior Manager of Regional Design and Construction Services, works with a local group called the Washington Alliance for Better Schools (WABS) to schedule visits a few times a year. Aaron loves having students out to show them around and thinks it shows a valuable, alternate career path that they might not have previously considered.

“I remember being in high school. I had no idea what I wanted to do, where I was going to end up,” Aaron said. “None of these types of things were going on at my school, outside of maybe the military coming in to recruit. That always stuck with me. When the opportunity came up, I thought it was really cool to give this chance.”

WABS does career events all over Washington state. Aaron said the PUD was a prime target for them because of the proximity to the organization’s headquarters in Shoreline, the value and service the utility provides to the community and the numerous career paths available.

A group of high school students watches an Arc trailer safety demonstrationAt the training yard, students watched demonstrations by line crew members and even got to work with some of the (smaller) equipment. Several PUD workers, including Slade Wills, Assistant Lineman Training Coordinator and recent Employee of the Month, showed the students mini-excavators, helped them learn how to tie wires and work with hot sticks and other equipment used in the field.

“It’s a blast,” Slade said of having the students out at the training yard. “Letting kids see what goes on and maybe see that there’s options other than college. They’re out there smiling and having fun.”

Aaron echoed Slade’s thoughts and hopes to continue these visits as long as WABS would like to.

“The crews love giving back,” Aaron said. “They’re very passionate and proud of the line trade they’re in. They love to show kids what they do for a living and who knows? Maybe one of them will want to go down that path one day.”