Training the Next Generation of Field Engineers: GE Invests in Its Field Services Training Center in Virginia
November 29, 2016
• Renovated Facility Features Classrooms, Laboratories for Hands-On Training and a 24-Hour Call Center
• Training Programs Available for GE Field Engineers, Contractors and Customers
SALEM, Va. — Nov. 29, 2016 — From conducting routine maintenance or a power system study to responding to an emergency repair, GE’s field engineers must be prepared for a variety of situations they might encounter at customer sites. That’s why GE (NYSE: GE) recently invested in its Salem training center to enhance the facility and better equip new and seasoned field engineers with the knowledge and techniques they need.
The Salem facility was first built in the 1940s and has always served as a training center. Earlier this year, GE renovated the building to accommodate additional training opportunities year-round. The recently reopened facility features several classrooms, laboratories equipped with GE’s electrical distribution equipment and a 24-hour call center.
“The investment we made in our training center is really an investment in our employees and customers,” explained Michael Walsh, general manager of one of GE Energy Connections’ services teams. “This facility represents our future. It focuses on sharing the lessons learned in the past as the catalyst to improve safety, productivity and quality in service to our customers.”
The facility is the foundation for GE’s Field Engineer Program (FEP), which is designed for new field engineers and includes a combination of eLearning, classroom and lab training classes. The eLearning courses help students apply the math and engineering concepts acquired in college to the equipment they will work on in their new role. Students learn how the equipment is constructed and operates, and then proceed to the labs to gain hands-on experience in commissioning, startup, troubleshooting and servicing equipment. The labs in Salem have the full lineup of GE’s power delivery, drives and controls equipment so field engineers can become familiar with the wide variety of products they will encounter at customer sites.
“Following the FEP training, students are required to perform additional on-the-job training to become qualified in these skills,” explained Walsh. “We also pair new field engineers with mentors so they have someone they can go to with questions throughout their career.”
In addition to FEP, several courses are available for seasoned field engineers. Curriculums cover the breadth of GE’s electrical distribution products, including hardware, software, system integration, diagnostics and troubleshooting techniques equipment including low- and medium-voltage switchgear, transformers, protective devices and relays, AC and DC drives and motors, and more. At the facility, GE employees are not the only ones in the classroom. Training also is available to GE contractors and customers.
The Salem Training Center also is the home to the Industrial Services Call Center. Customers or GE field engineers can call in 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, 365 days-a-year with any questions they may have. More than 25 technicians — who can either assist the caller directly or connect them with another GE field engineer who has expertise in a certain area — staff the call center around the clock.
Finally, the facility also serves as the location for GE’s Center of Excellence for Paper Industry Solutions and Drives Services. Industry and application experts are co-located in Salem to collaborate on GE’s pulp and paper customers’ toughest challenges.
To learn more about GE’s Salem training center, watch this video. Please contact your local GE representative to book a training class at the Salem facility.
GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry. www.ge.com
About Energy Connections
GE Energy Connections designs and deploys industry-leading technologies that turn the world on. We transport, convert, automate and optimize energy to ensure we provide safe, efficient and reliable electrical power. Uniting all the resources and scale of the world’s first digital industrial company, we connect brilliant machines, grids, and systems to power utility, oil & gas, marine, mining and renewables customers, that keep our world running. www.GEEnergyConnections.com
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