Since 2021, Delmarva Power’s Path to Success workforce development program has provided Delaware high school juniors and seniors energy career path opportunities. Through the program, local students take part in the program’s one-on-one career coaching, career exploration and professional skill building opportunities. Upon successful completion, students will have the ability to earn a job opportunity with us or a partnering contractor.
In the first two years of the Path to Success program, 17 students in New Castle County successfully graduated. This year, in addition to our New Castle County cohort, the program expanded into Sussex County, with an all-female student cohort of seven. This year, six senior students graduate from New Castle and Sussex counties.
In 2021, we spoke with Elijah James as one of the first Path to Success graduates. Two years later, we caught up with him to get an update on his energy career journey.
You mentioned previously that you were looking to work at Delmarva Power or one of our contractors. Can you tell us where you ended up?
I am pleased to say I started working in Delmarva Power’s gas service department in November 2021.
What is your role in the gas department?
We respond to all gas requests. This can include gas meter maintenance or gas leaks at a customer’s home or business.
How did the Path to Success program prepare you for your role in the gas department?
Throughout the program and even now after being an employee for two years, I came to understand how important energy is in our lives. If you’re not ingrained in it, you may not realize what it is, how it works and how much we rely and depend on it.
Many heating systems require gas to operate. Without that reliable service that we provide, customers may not be able to heat their homes or businesses. The job and Path to Success really allowed me to have a great appreciation for the energy industry.
What advice do you have for the 2023 class of Path to Success graduates?
Stay focused and be smart about the decisions you make. The job will make you grow up and mature quickly, but you will also get adjusted to it quickly. I have goals – I now want to go to college – and the company is willing to help me achieve those goals. The benefits and pay are outstanding. Having a retirement account setup and being in a position to think about buying a car and a house before I am 21 is something I did not think was possible.