Watching television and playing video games was not in the plan this summer for seven high school students from Bowie and El Paso High. As part of a 6-week pilot program at El Paso Electric, the students are spending their summer vacation employed at El Paso Electric and learning new job skills and responsibilities.
El Paso Electric’s High School Summer Job Program began June 18 as a suggestion from EPE Chief Executive Officer Tom Shockley. The program is designed to provide high school students with a meaningful work experience.
“We’re very pleased to provide a learning and work experience for these very intelligent and motivated young people,” said Frank R. Lopez, Senior Human Resources Manager at El Paso Electric. “It’s our hope that the experience they gain here and the friendships they make while at El Paso Electric will have a long-lasting and positive impact on their lives.”
Over the course of the summer, Angel, Edith, Estefania, Mario, Yasmin, Vanessa and Jose will be assigned to one of several EPE departments. They will also attend workshops that include Electricity 101, Safety and Public Speaking. In addition, the students’ supervisors have been given training to ensure that they serve as both supervisors and mentors to the students.
According to El Paso High School student Angel Solis, the Internship Program provides students with learning options and opportunities. “This opportunity is one of the best things that has happened to me,” said Solis. “The experience of working in the business world will serve me so much as I apply for other jobs and enter the workforce.” Yasmin Vargas, a Bowie High School student, said, “I’ve met great people and have learned real life work responsibilities.”
Lopez says El Paso Electric will likely expand the program in upcoming years to include other high schools and additional students.