Benton PUD tackles energy literacy with Rise 360
Educating and empowering a community
participation for an optional e-learning lesson
employee engagement across the organization
courses published to date, with more in development
Benton Public Utility District (PUD) distributes electricity and wholesale broadband to customers in Benton County, Washington. For over 75 years, they have served as a trusted energy partner for their customer-owners, offering environmentally responsible electricity that is both affordable and reliable.
Beyond their utility mission to “keep the lights on,” Benton PUD understands the importance of empowering individuals with educational resources about electrical energy. Benton PUD enlisted the help of Campbell Training Solutions to create an educational program that would empower members of their community to become better environmental stewards and make more informed energy purchasing decisions.
Industry: Electrical Utilities
Location: Kennewick, WA
Size: 147 full-time employees
Learn more about: Rise 360
Benton PUD needed an engaging, seamless way to educate employees with critical knowledge
Benton PUD doesn’t just see themselves as an electrical energy provider but also a knowledge provider and a community partner. They recognize the importance of energy literacy in consumers’ ability to make informed decisions around their use of electricity.
Research shows that energy literacy has declined in recent years. Benton PUD wanted to change that—starting with their own employees. By providing team members with opportunities to grow their knowledge around power generation, distribution, and impact, employees could help their community increase overall energy IQ and engage in more energy-efficient behaviors.
Benton PUD previously faced challenges when scheduling employee training exclusively in person. With team members in both the office and the field, they needed an effective solution to provide educational opportunities for all their employees—with the flexibility to fit into their unique schedules and workflows.
Benton PUD and Campbell Training Solutions created a holistic energy education program with Rise 360
Benton PUD knows that investing in e-learning is essential to provide widespread value to their employees and achieve sustainable development goals. “We want to create proud, confident employee influencers,” says Melina Conover, Benton PUD’s Director of Executive Administration. “Growing our online employee education is a large component of our five-year strategic plan.”
They enlisted the help of Campbell Training Solutions, a local educational partner with 25 years’ training experience in the federal, manufacturing, utilities, and medical industries. Together, they launched EmPOWERed employee training, a comprehensive curriculum covering a range of energy topics. These include everything from the elements of an atom to the scientific and social environmental trade-offs of different electricity-generating sources.
Each EmPOWERed lesson, or “episode,” was built in Rise 360, beginning with a mini sitcom-style video embedded as a media block to capture learners’ interest. Corresponding knowledge checks and exams were also embedded as Storyline blocks within the episode, and “POWERful HighLIGHTs,” or key takeaways, reinforced the most important lessons. Benton PUD hoped the approach would help participating employees feel confident and excited to share what they’d learned in the community.
Upon completion of select Rise 360 courses, employees are offered in-person field trips to destinations like neighboring Energy Northwest’s Columbia Generating Station, the only commercial nuclear power plant in the Pacific Northwest, to tie the e-learning episodes to a hands-on experience.
This comprehensive approach has paid off. Participation in the program is optional, yet 82% of employees have completed the first lesson to date, with the remaining lessons showing similarly high levels of engagement.
UNLOCKING HUMAN POTENTIAL
With e-learning, Benton PUD increases energy literacy to empower their community
Valuing people is at the center of Benton PUD’s company culture, and educating employees through EmPOWERed is key to their success. The program furthers the organization’s holistic approach to safety, health, well-being, and education. It also provides employees with a greater purpose—becoming trusted energy partners in their community.
As they educate their own employees, Benton PUD also works to make their EmPOWERed content more widely available to teachers and community members. They’re preparing to release the program on their external website and they continue to develop energy topics for easy access in classrooms and at community events.
By laying the groundwork for energy literacy with e-learning, starting with their own employees, Benton PUD has created a more confident and engaged workforce that empowers its entire community.
“The e-learning component of our EmPOWERed program plays a fundamental role in our utility’s top strategic goal to value people,” says Conover. “That doesn’t just mean valuing our own employees, but also our entire community.”
With Rise 360, Benton PUD educates and empowers employees, increasing energy literacy for their entire community.
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*Data provided by Benton PUD and Campbell Training Solutions, 2023. This content is based on reported experiences from an actual customer and is provided solely for informational and illustrative purposes. In some cases, we have edited and reprinted feedback; however, in such cases, we did so only to shorten the text and not to edit the nature of the feedback provided. For confidentiality purposes, some information has been anonymized. This content is not intended as a promise or guarantee for any use by current or future customers. Results may vary substantially for each customer.
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