ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- ComEd's new indoor training facility is now open, meaning that we might see fewer and shorter power outages.
Mark Shaulis couldn't imagine a better place to teach new ComEd employees how to strip wires. He's an underground crew leader who's been working in a mobile trailer for years. Now, Shaulis says the new training facility even allows current workers to brush up on their utility skills.
“State of the art; Provides an opportunity for our next generation to train more on the lines of the technology they'll be working with on a day to day basis,” said Shaulis.
That's why ComEd decided to build an in-door training course, which includes 30-foot utility poles and a full size manhole rescue station. More than 500 workers from as far as away as Joliet will train in several sessions that could last up to 12 weeks. That's 12 weeks visitors will spend money in the area. State senator Steve Stadelman says this gives Rockford a crucial push in the right direction.
"Rockford will benefit because we have the facility, we have the training and the manpower and the jobs that will be created by this type of training center so its a win-win situation for everybody,” said State Senator Stadelman.
Only 6 instructors are full-time, but representatives hope to add more throughout the year.
There’s nearly 40 workers in training now. We’re told refresher courses for current employees begin on Monday. ComEd plans to build another indoor training facility in Chicago.