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$3-million Knowledge and Skills Training Center opens in Clinton

New facility part of Entergy’s commitment to training, safety

A new $3-million Entergy Knowledge and Skills Training Center in Clinton will help the company maintain its success in meeting the growing needs of its customers.

“To remain successful, Entergy must continue to develop systems and incorporate technology to meet growing customer needs. To do that requires educating each employee and ensuring they are equipped with the skills and knowledge required to meet our customers’ expectations,” said Sam McGaugh, who manages the center.

Entergy has conducted formal training since 1992 from its facility on U.S. 80. Training at the new facility began April 3.

Skills and safety training

“The most important tool afforded our employees is a safe work environment. Entergy places safety as our highest priority. Each employee is assigned this responsibility as well,” McGaugh said. “To be successful, Entergy must continually assess abilities and provide necessary skills training. Entergy is committed to provide all resources necessary to facilitate safe work practices.”

All classes previously held at the old center will be delivered at the new facility on Springridge Road. Classes include lineman training, substation training, relay training, meter service training, network training, distribution design training, network operation process training and various safety mandated training.

Copeland & Johns Inc. was the general contractor for the building that includes 22,000 square feet on 15 acres.

“The location of the previous training center has contributed to a good working relationship between Entergy and Clinton, and Clinton’s central location within our service area was a plus. In addition, we believed it prudent to use existing Entergy property for the site,” said McGaugh.

Carolyn Shanks, president of Entergy Mississippi, said “the new training center signifies Entergy’s commitment to providing the best possible service to customers. By using cutting-edge training modules and exemplary education techniques, we are ensuing that our highly skilled workforce stays prepared to meet the growing demands of an increasingly technological world.”

Critical component

According to Shanks, the center is a key component of Entergy’s recently announced Ennovations service initiative, a forward-thinking strategy aimed at providing service to customers. “By using cutting-edge training modules and exemplary education techniques, we are ensuring that our highly skilled workforce stays prepared to meet the growing demands of an increasingly technological world,” said Shanks.

“The city and Entergy have long been community partners. Entergy is such an integral factor in our day-to-day operations that having a state-of-the-art training facility located in Clinton solidifies their role in the community. The company will bring in both employees and consultants from across the state and that in itself will be an economic benefit to the community,” said Mayor Rosemary Aultman.

Wide range of classes

Class duration depends on subject matter. However, the longest session — Lineman Boot Camp — is 14 weeks. Some training workshops can be conducted in one day.

“All processes and skills taught at the center are specific and unique to the utility industry,” said McGaugh.
He added, “The newest technology being taught at the center deals with service quality and reliability. Computer-controlled monitoring devices that can identify trouble on the system and deliver automated recovery are new to our industry. What this means to our customers is fewer and shorter interruptions of service.”

In addition to classrooms with computers and training modules, Entergy has poles outside for linemen to climb. They start out with the RAG (red, amber, green levels on poles). The highest is 30 feet. Then, they move to The Ten, a series of 10 poles that are 40 feet high.

McGaugh said students are pre-tested to find out how much they know about the power field. After training, they receive a post-test and finally, a test to determine knowledge retention from the class.

Entergy’s goal of remaining successful can best be summed up in an equation hanging in several places throughout the center. “Performance is a function of competency, motivation and environment,” says the equation. It originated with Peter Krembs, an Entergy consultant.

A subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, Entergy Mississippi provides electricity to more than 427,000 customers in 45 counties.

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