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LA11 - Programs for skills management and lifelong learning that support the continued employability of employees and assist them in managing career endings.

AEP provides a broad range of training and assistance that supports lifelong learning and transition support. Programs develop knowledge, competencies and learning that collectively benefit our employees, the business objectives of AEP and the communities we serve.

Our knowledge and skills development strategy is accomplished through our processes for ongoing performance coaching, operational skills training, resources supporting our commitment to environment, safety and health (ESH), job progression training, our tuition assistance program, and KEY, our corporate-wide learning management system.

Performance Coaching is an ongoing process designed to increase communication between employees and managers around performance and development. It is divided into three phases: Phase 1 - Plan; Phase 2 - Coach; and Phase 3 - Review. During the planning phase, the employee collaborates with his or her manager to create a performance plan for the year.  This plan includes performance goals, competencies importance to success, and development goals that can upgrade skills, boost performance and increase job satisfaction. In the coaching phase, the manager and employee meet regularly to discuss progress toward the plan they created.  These two-way conversations provide opportunities to recognize positive results, discuss opportunities for improvement and provide new direction. During the review phase, both the employee and manager assess and discuss the employee’s performance for the year, focusing on performance goals, competencies and development goals.

Operational Skills Training: AEP offers a wide range of skills to ensure skills needed for effective performance and safe operations. Examples include:

  • Distribution provides the training for technical personnel responsible for designing distribution facilities and enables technicians to be better designers. Distribution also provides distribution line, dispatch and meter training for personnel to enhance performance in safety, reliability, and productivity.
  • Fossil and Hydro Generation and the Nuclear Generation Organizations provide employee development and learning services for employees in the areas of technical, safety, environmental, business and front line leadership training. Fossil & Hydro Generation is implementing individualized Learning Plans in the Learning Management System based on work location training needs and job responsibilities. The goal is to develop a Learning Culture where employees are involved in their personal development and learning by understanding what training is needed.
  • Transmission provides skills training to Transmission Line Mechanics, Substation Electricians, and Protection and Control Technicians. Classes are designed to train employees from the entry level to the "journey" level of expertise. The training curriculum consists of several week-long training sessions over the course of five years.
  • Ethics & Compliance offers training to foster an ethical culture, including AEP's Principles of Business Conduct, FERC Standards of Conduct, Sarbanes Oxley, antitrust, conflicts of interest, and insider trading.
  • Human Resources offers training and development in leadership skills, diversity, generational differences, and unlawful harassment for all levels of staff. In addition, AEP offers extensive on-line training resources to all employees in the technical, safety, security, business, ethics and personal skill development areas.

    Resources for ES&H:
    No aspect of operations is more important than the health and safety of people. AEP has implemented a multi-faceted approach to safety and health promotion, including many behavior based initiatives such as:
  • HPI (Human Performance Improvement) - Human performance improvement is about helping individuals maintain control of workplace situations through the use of error reduction tools. Training and tools on human performance improvement are regularly being implemented across several areas of American Electric Power.
  • Wellness - Healthy living habits are an essential ingredient for healthy employees. For that reason, AEP sponsors a number of programs and initiatives designed to help employees achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Safety and Health Management System - SHEMS is an integrated system that allows AEP to manage all safety and health events in one system, resulting in common processes, terminology and information.
  • Hazard Recognition - In order to protect our employees, everyone needs to get better at recognizing hazards.  Since hazards are accidents just waiting to happen; through this program, employees are provided tools to recognize and mitigate job site hazards, as well as the accidents and incidents associated with those hazards. \
  • Risk Assessment - Risk Assessment addresses how to evaluate control measures to protect us from harm while doing our work.
  • JHA - Job Hazard Analysis. The JHA tool is a place to capture the tasks, steps, hazards and controls for the most hazardous jobs within Fossil & Hydro.
  • JSA - Job Safety/Site Assessment is a process that helps us look at how to perform a job safety from beginning to end.

    Job Progression training is defined by each business unit (i.e. Transmission, Distribution, Generation, etc), specific to position responsibilities and the work environment. As an example, progression in field positions for maintenance, operations, and electrical work takes several years. After an initial new-hire orientation, employees learn their job through classroom training, on-the-job instruction, video instruction, observation, mentoring, and job experience. Advancement criteria can include slot availability, time in grade, skills demonstrations and knowledge testing.

    Educational Assistance: To meet the demands of a completitive, technology driven economy, AEP invests in our workforce through our Educational Assistance Program. This program provides financial reimbursement to eligible employees, encouraging them equip themselves with the training and knowledge they need to excel in their careers at AEP and their lives beyond AEP.

    KEY is a powerful on-demand learning management system (LMS) that provides access to learning resources including 24/7 access to online courses, registration for live learning events and tracking and reporting of the training activities. This Web-based system is used to schedule, launch, and track training for all employees and contractors.

Transition Assistance

AEP also provides transition assistance including retirement counseling and severance pay for those whose employment has been involuntarily terminated, typically as part of a restructuring. Severance pay amounts are determined based on years of service. To illustrate, when circumstances such as a plant closing occur, we bring forward special career transition support including job search training/counseling, networking assistance to idenitify other local employers, and internal job placement and relocation assistance where applicable. These programs benefit the impacted employee, the community in which he/she serves and the overall morale of the workforce.

For more information, also see the Sustainable Work Force discussion in AEP’s Corporate Sustainability Report.