Every day, new technologies are shaping the way the world operates.

Such advancements and developments are creating more and more opportunities for STEM professionals. To attract and retain top talent in this competitive, fast-paced environment companies like PGW must provide professional development opportunities that are as advanced, robust, challenging and specialized as the STEM fields themselves. We’re not shy about the challenge and what we must do to meet it. Engineers across the organization engage in round-robin professional development opportunities to allow employees to grow their portfolios, build upon their expertise, and leverage cross-departmental skills.

Field Operations exposes its engineers to the department’s three main working groups – maintenance, construction and field service. “We want them to have a good knowledge of all three,” said Ray Welte, Vice President of Field Operations, of the 13-year program.

The program is designed to move participants through 10 specialty areas. Candidates often complete rotations in three or four specialties before being promoted to a non-engineering position within the department, says Abe Awad, Manager of Field Service Operations. Awad runs the department and is a former participant.

The program’s success inspired a different initiative, where engineers spend 14 consecutive days in other departments to get a better understanding of engineers’ various roles around the company.

“We rotate our engineers so they can see how different departments are connected,” said Welte. In the last three years, 16 employees have taken part in the cross-departmental engineering exchange.

An engineer rotates between the five departments, allocating the proper time needed in various roles.

“We want somebody trained at PGW to stay at PGW, rather than taking their expertise elsewhere,” said Welte.