ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 14

FROM COAL TO COMPUTERS

SRP Apprenti Program Trains Former Power
Plant Employees for Careers in Technology
By Kathleen Mascareñas, Media Relations Representative, SRP

I

T IS COMMON FOR 34-year-old Nicole McCarty to defy odds. She was
a single mom by the age of 16 with no way to support her daughter.
They say necessity is the mother of invention, and all her life, McCarty
has reinvented herself in order to survive.
McCarty started working at Navajo Generating Station (NGS), a
coal-fired power plant located in Page, Ariz., in 2004. She was eighteen;
her daughter had just turned two. They had moved into a women's shelter,
where she got a job through a domestic violence service. Her only goal:
Make a better life for her child. McCarty knew she needed to earn more
money, so the single mom set her sights on NGS.
"I wanted to be anything there. My initial goal was just to be a janitor
who made $14 to $15 an hour cleaning. I was like, 'I'll clean your toilets for
that much!'" McCarty said. "A (NGS) human resources' employee told me
about a strength test-as long as I could lift a 50-pound bag of dog food
at Walmart, I would pass, so I went to Walmart and I tried it. I was like, 'Ah!
I got this!'"
What started as a job to simply feed and clothe her daughter blossomed
into a successful career with SRP, the community-based, not-for-profit public
power utility that operates NGS. The single mom with no prior power plant
experience went on to become the only female control room operations
specialist to help run the 2,250-megawatt power plant, which produced
electricity for people in Arizona, California and Nevada. As the four Navajo
Generating Station owners prepare to close the power plant by the end of
2019, McCarty once again faced the need to redefine herself.
"SRP provided me with job security, knowledge, purpose and the financial means to take care of my family," she said. "I will miss NGS because I
14

ELECTRIC ENERGY | WINTER 2019

developed a work family there and I was close to my grandparents and
my mom, but I am excited about yet another opportunity to grow at SRP."
McCarty heard about a program being offered by her employer to retrain
NGS employees to be information technology business analysts through
SRP's first tech-apprenticeship, called Apprenti.
"I started Googling and reading books about what the career path was
and it felt like I was reading another language," she said. "But, after reading
more simplified versions of it, it sounded like something that I could do.
There was a lot of process-flow thinking, which I was already accustomed to."
To get the program off the ground, SRP partnered with the Greater
Phoenix Chamber Foundation, which serves as the state affiliate for Apprenti



ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019

Letter from the Executive Director
RMEL Board of Directors
Executives Navigate “Strategic Inflection Point” of the Electric Energy Industry—2019 RMEL Vital Issues Forum and Fall Convention Recap
SRP Apprenti Program Trains Former Power Plant Employees for Careers in Technology
The Future Was Yesterday— Electric Energy Workforce Strategies
2020 Events Deliver Diverse Member Company Experiences to Technologically and Operationally Build the Future of the Electric Energy Industry
RMEL Foundation Awards Record 47 Scholarships
2020 Calendar of Events
Member Listings
Foundation Board of Directors
Advertiser’s Index
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - Intro
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - ebelly1
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - ebelly2
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - cover1
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - cover2
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 3
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 4
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 5
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - Letter from the Executive Director
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 7
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - RMEL Board of Directors
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 9
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - Executives Navigate “Strategic Inflection Point” of the Electric Energy Industry—2019 RMEL Vital Issues Forum and Fall Convention Recap
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 11
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 12
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 13
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - SRP Apprenti Program Trains Former Power Plant Employees for Careers in Technology
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 15
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 16
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 17
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - The Future Was Yesterday— Electric Energy Workforce Strategies
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 19
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 20
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 21
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 2020 Events Deliver Diverse Member Company Experiences to Technologically and Operationally Build the Future of the Electric Energy Industry
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 23
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 24
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 25
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 26
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 27
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - RMEL Foundation Awards Record 47 Scholarships
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 29
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 30
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 31
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 32
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 33
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 2020 Calendar of Events
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 35
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - Member Listings
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - 37
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - Advertiser’s Index
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - cover3
ELECTRIC ENERGY | Winter 2019 - cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/RMET/RMET0320
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/RMET/RMET0220
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/RMET/RMET0120
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/RMET/RMET0319
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/RMET/RMET0219
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/RMET/RMET0119
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/RMET/RMET0318
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/RMET/RMET0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/RMET/RMET0118
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com