To be competitive in a “deregulated” market, power plant workers must be better qualified and more versatile than ever. Regardless of his or her area of expertise (operations, craft maintenance, plant controls, or other), tomorrow’s plant worker must be better skilled than ever before. Regardless of plant design, fuel type, or loading schedules, the defining difference in plant performance resides in the people who operate, maintain, and manage the plant. Whether it’s how they respond to abnormal operating conditions, how conscientious they are with plant chemistry, or how well they test and maintain critical components; it’s people, not equipment that make the difference between a well run facility and one with never ceasing problems. According to industry statistics, power generation facilities will loose between 30% and 50% of their most experienced workers over the next five years. This means that the people who hold the “tribal knowledge” of your facility will be leaving in the not too distant future. Furthermore, the availability of a trainable labor pool to replace the “Boomers” is in very short supply and difficult to recruit.

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