New option opens safety, training program to more co-op employees

EnergyLines November 2019


The Hoosier Energy Apprenticeship and Training Safety (HEATS) Program is celebrating its 40th graduation this year. This program was started as a way to train linemen and ensure they have proper job-related safety training. The program has grown over the years to include substation and meter training. In 2019, the program grew one more time.


After researching the education programs currently offered by Hoosier Energy and listening to the interests of the co-ops, the Hoosier Energy Safety and Training department began the process of expanding the program. Based on information gathered from member co-ops, the Member Service Representative (MSR) HEATS program was created. With more than 50 participants signing up for the program, the class was divided into five groups so more individual attention could be given to participants.


“We identified that front office employees would benefit from learning terms and processes used. For example, it can be challenging to explain to a member-consumer why an outage might have occurred,” said John Bullock, Safety and Training Specialist.


This program applies most of the regular HEATS training – just less in-depth. The framework of the MSR HEATS class was approved by the Indiana Department of Labor. The MSR program has classroom instruction, text books and assignments. At the end of the two -and-a-half-year program, participants will be awarded with an apprenticeship certificate upon satisfactory completion of requirements.


“We hope that this process will not only build relationships between the participants, but also build relationships within each co-op, from the front line to the lineworkers,” said Bullock.