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Public Utilities, Second Edition

Old Problems, New Challenges

David E. McNabb

A thoroughly updated introduction to the current issues and challenges facing managers and administrators in the investor and publicly owned utility industry, this engaging volume addresses management concerns in five sectors of the utility industry: electric power, natural gas, water, wastewater systems and public transit.
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Chapter 16: Managing the public utility workforce

David E. McNabb


Utility industry leaders are nearly unanimous in agreeing that a number of external forces are becoming increasingly pressing as managers and administers work to shape the public utility workforce. These old problems, in turn, are only going to become more pressing over the next decade or longer. The fundamental problem is the difficulty of simply finding enough workers with the necessary skills to replace the many aging “baby boom” workers entering retirement. In addition, there is no doubt that the United States workforce is changing from a majority of white males—the traditional utility workforce—to becoming a majority of minority men and females of all ethnic persuasions. Human resource departments are responsible for managing a variety of employee benefit plans. Among the most costly of these benefit programs is the retirement fund. Retirement plans for investor-owned utilities are often more complex than plans managed for employees in publicly owned utilities.

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