PG&E partners with Cuesta College and Cal Poly to train students for careers in energy

August 12, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting the San Luis Obispo community and building jobs, today announced joint partnerships with Cuesta College and California Polytechnic State University ("Cal Poly") to provide educational platforms to train today's students for tomorrow's careers in energy.

The programs are designed to educate students on nuclear and carbon-neutral renewable energy systems. The programs will tie to Diablo Canyon Power Plant through class tours, projects and paid internships. Both programs will begin in Fall 2016.

"As we continue our focus on safe operations through 2025 and the decades-long decommissioning period ahead, we will need new employees with new skills. When we thought about addressing these needs, we immediately thought of our community and the opportunity to create local jobs. Cal Poly and Cuesta College are exceptional educational institutions and we are honored to partner with them to develop the workforce of tomorrow," said PG&E SVP of Generation and Chief Nuclear Officer Ed Halpin.

Cuesta College's Department of Electronics and Electrical Technology will offer a new Certificate of Specialization in Nuclear Energy Systems. The two key goals of the 16-unit certificate are to develop a pool of trained nuclear energy technicians and provide a career pathway for students and technicians to gain employment at PG&E or any nuclear power plant in the country. This certificate will help to address the anticipated employment needs of the nuclear workforce nationwide, and at Diablo Canyon Power Plant. The college is developing an associate degree related to nuclear maintenance technology.

"We are very excited to be able to partner with PG&E in establishing the Cuesta Nuclear Power Technology program. Whether the power industry is developing, maintaining, or decommissioning a nuclear power facility, there will always be a need for a locally-trained, technology workforce. This partnership aligns perfectly with Cuesta College's responsibility to provide workforce development to the residents within our district boundaries," said Cuesta College Superintendent and President Gilbert Stork.

Cal Poly's program will focus on nuclear and carbon-neutral renewable energy systems and will be nested within the university's Mechanical Engineering Department in the College of Engineering. The program will adapt and enhance online courses from Texas A&M University – which houses the nation's largest nuclear engineering department – and later will fund a dedicated tenure-track faculty position and specific laboratory equipment.

"We are pleased to partner with PG&E to enhance our programs aimed at producing the renewable energy experts of tomorrow," said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. "Cal Poly already offers courses in solar and wind energy. This new program will round out our offerings and help us to play a significant role in reducing carbon emissions and promoting renewable energy throughout California and the nation."

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About Cal Poly

Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, four-year, comprehensive public university located in San Luis Obispo, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on California's Central Coast. It is a distinctive learning community offering academically focused students a hands-on educational experience that prepares them for today's scientific and technical world.

About Cuesta College

Cuesta College is a top-ranked California community college located in San Luis Obispo. Known for its renowned Career Technical Educational programs and high transfer rates into four-year universities, the college is an inclusive institution that inspires a diverse student population to achieve their educational goals, and prepares students to become engaged citizens in today's increasingly complex communities and world.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit and