Students get behind-the-scenes look at rewarding CPS Energy careers

Dammion never thought twice about how many men and women work round the clock at CPS Energy to keep the lights on and gas flowing throughout our community. Like many customers, he just unplugged his fully-charged cell phone, flipped off the light switch and went about his day. During our SA Works Job Shadow Day, Dammion got a new perspective after he went behind the scenes at our company. A closer look at some of the rewarding careers of our 3,100 team members inspired him to think about his own future.

“I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do,” said Dammion Blackwell, a sophomore at John Jay High School. “It was really interesting learning about safety around electrical poles, (physical and cyber) security, and how employees use computer coding in different jobs. It’s helped me start to determine where I could see myself or not see myself.”

(Image) Dammion_Blackwell
Fred Hernandez, Journeyman Serviceman, shows Dammion Blackwell, a sophomore of John Jay High School, some of the equipment he uses every day on the job.

Each year, CPS Energy is one of more than 100 local employers that connect with the future generation of professionals at the citywide job shadow day. This year, more than 240 local high school students got a chance to learn how our team members provide safe, reliable and affordable power to our community.

Paula Gold-Williams, CPS Energy’s President & CEO, addressed the group of students at the start of the event to encourage them to take full advantage of the job shadow day.

“We want you to know there are a lot of different jobs around San Antonio,” said Paula. “If you actively look for a job, ask questions and think about the value, you’ll more than likely find a place, a company and a career. That’s the most important thing and we’re here to help you think about that.”

Roland Ramirez, SCADA Specialist 2, was glad to discuss the important work he does every day to ensure the safety and reliability of our utility’s electric grid.

(Image) Roland Ramirez, SCADA Specialist 2, shows students how his team uses devices and monitors out in the field to get real-time data for the electric, gas and generation systems.
Roland Ramirez, SCADA Specialist 2, shows students how his team uses devices and monitors out in the field to get real-time data for the electric, gas and generation systems.

Students learned that the primary purpose of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) is to provide system operators and energy market operators with the ability to control and monitor the electric, gas, and generation systems from a centralized location. Roland and his team used an interactive monitor to show students how system operators at our Energy Management Center get real-time data from devices and monitors out in the field. Roland explained that without this intel, utility equipment with electrical overloads would go unnoticed and become safety hazards out in the community. These hazards would eventually lead to large power outages that could take days instead of hours to resolve.

“The Remote SCADA team is the eyes and ears of system operations,” said Roland. “System operators can visually identify where all the power is being generated and distributed. Our team provides all the critical information they need to keep on the lights.”

The Remote SCADA team was one of more than a dozen stations where students had a chance to connect with various teams across our company. Students tried on linemen gear, got a demonstration of how our gas line locators find and mark underground utility lines, and learned about electrical and natural gas safety. Students also learned about summer internship opportunities, which are posted on

Students got a chance to try on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and learn about tools and equipment our linemen use in the field every day.

“We have a lot to offer as far as careers,” said Cristina Duarte, Manager of Education & Mentoring Programs for CPS Energy. “Our paid summer internships are the best way to get started. It’s a great way to get hands-on experience and learn one-on-one from our talented team members. Over the years, we’ve had several interns jumpstart a rewarding career with us.”

Last year, we hired a dozen interns to fill various full-time positions across the company. As CPS Energy and our services continue to grow, so does our need to maintain a strong pipeline of new talent to fill critical roles. Are you interested or know someone who is? Click here to learn more and apply! The deadline to apply is March 20.

Sam Taylor

Sam is part of the Corporate Communications team at CPS Energy.

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