Hydro One (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) and Ryerson University, also of Toronto, have come together to create a work-study program. The Hydro One Fellowship Program, currently in its first offering, gives select Ryerson electrical and computer engineering students the opportunity to spend their summers as Hydro One summer development students, putting their skills to work while benefiting from additional hands-on training and a steady paycheck.

Hydro One will be admitting 10 first-year electrical and computer engineering students every year. Students admitted to the program gain experience in engineering, construction, planning, field services and management functions, and receive in-house instruction from Hydro One experts.

Students who perform satisfactorily and successfully complete the Hydro One training program will be invited back the following summers at the end of their second and third year of studies. Previously, the company had only employed students after the third year of their university studies or after graduation. Now the Hydro One Fellowship Program gives students the added benefits of getting in the door early and making career decisions as they complete their education. Upon successful completion of three summer work terms, these students will receive a Hydro One Networks Inc. Power Utility Program Certificate in addition to their bachelor of engineering degree in electrical engineering from Ryerson.

Hydro One, the largest electricity delivery company in Ontario, is facing a potential technical workforce shortage as a significant number of retirements are forecasted in most utilities across Canada. Prolonged limited employment opportunities have contributed to a decline in electrical power engineering program enrollments. The Hydro One Fellowship is an innovative strategy on the part of the utility and Ryerson to address this critical employment dilemma.

“Faced with unprecedented attrition in our business, Hydro One has embarked on an aggressive workforce renewal program,” said Laura Formusa, president and CEO of Hydro One. “Working with education partners like Ryerson allows us to influence curriculum and help create our future energy professionals. We see this as not only critical to our business, but also as an important contribution to the electricity sector as a whole.”