Power industry employees with specialized skills share their experiences at Oregon Tradeswomen’s Career Fair

Bonneville Power Administration employees will participate in the Oregon Tradeswomen’s 2019 Career Fair on May 17 and 18 at the National Electrical Contractors Association and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers training center. BPA representatives will share their experiences and demonstrate some of the skills they use to keep hydropower flowing in the Northwest.

The Oregon Tradeswomen’s 27th annual career fair features workshops and exhibits staffed by volunteers who are passionate about their work and are committed to encouraging women and young girls to explore opportunities in non-traditional fields.

“BPA transmission grid is the backbone for affordable, renewable power in the Pacific Northwest,” said Robin Furrer, BPA’s vice president for Transmission Field Services. “We employ almost 1,000 people in the electrical crafts and trades. The tradeswomen’s career fair is an outstanding venue to create awareness and interest in crafts and trades where qualified workers are in high demand.”

Grisel Mendez is an electronics engineer at BPA. She is one of the many volunteers and trades representatives sharing their stories at the event.

“Every day is unique and I’m always working on something new,” said Mendez. “I could be teaching, testing equipment or out at a site. I work with a variety of people, in multiple organizations, and on various projects. It all keeps my work very interesting.”

Oregon Tradeswomen is relying on stories from people like Mendez to bring a boost to industries searching for uniquely skilled workers.

“The construction industry in Oregon is experiencing a worker shortage,” said Mary Ann Naylor, Communications and Marketing Director at Oregon Tradeswomen. “This event brings together fundamental resources for people who want to work in the trades, including information on how to access debt-free career training and opportunities for paid, on-the-job learning.”

The event takes place at the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center at 16021 NE Airport Way, Portland, Oregon. Mendez and other BPA tradeswomen will be first speaking to students attending with their schools on May 17, and then to the public on May 18 at the Careers for Women Day. They’ll be discussing various opportunities in the electric utility trades and demonstrating skills such as surveying, bucket truck operation and safe use of a fire extinguisher.

BPA is a proud sponsor of the Oregon Tradeswomen’s 2019 Career Fair. Learn more about the event at www.tradeswomen.net/fair/. You may also contact Naylor at maryann@tradeswomen.net, 503-335-8200, extension 126, or 503-819-9201.

About BPA – The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale electricity from 31 federal dams and one nuclear plant to 143 Northwest electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA delivers power via more than 15,000 circuit miles of lines and 261 substations to 546 transmission customers. In all, BPA markets about a third of the electricity generated in the Northwest and operates three-quarters of the region’s high-voltage transmission grid. BPA also funds one of the largest fish and wildlife programs in the nation, and, with its partners, pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain affordable, reliable and clean electric power for the Northwest. www.bpa.gov

About Oregon Tradeswomen: Oregon Tradeswomen, a federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, transforms lives by building community and economic independence through empowerment, training, career education, advocacy, and leadership development in the skilled trades. www.tradeswomen.net

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