​By Philip Reed

This year will see WAPA’s Craft Leadership Development Program accepting its third cohort of participants. This two-year program,

originally established in 2016, provides the organization’s craft employees with an opportunity to grow professionally and prepare themselves for future advancement.

its participants to reach beyond the scope of their everyday jobs. It assists them in developing the leadership traits and skill sets they will need for the next step in their careers, much as the Leadership Emergence and Development program does for WAPA’s office staff.

“The CLDP can boost you beyond the scope of your everyday job and help you develop the leadership traits and skill sets to take your career to the next level,” said Acting Senior Vice President and Rocky Mountain Regional Manager Jack Murray, who chairs the CLDP Committee. “It prepares you for positions of leadership and broadens your perspective of the region, agency and  industry.”

Foreman II High Voltage Electrician Leader Derik Anderson, who graduated from the second CLDP cohort, agreed that the development of leadership traits is a great benefit of the program. “The CLDP program is valuable because it gives craftsman not  only the opportunity to learn to be better leaders to possibly move into more of a leadership role, but also to be better as followers,” said Anderson. “I think a strong understanding of leadership traits can lead to a more versatile journeyman.”

Through the duration of the program, CLDP participants continue to work in their current positions, performing their primary job

responsibilities. Participation is open to all permanent, non-supervisory, journeyman-level craft employees.

“We’ve had an excellent variety of craft employees in the past,” said Murray, “and it would be great to see that continue. Our previous cohort included eight electricians, one lineman, one electronic equipment craftsman and two meter and relay technicians. I’m excited to see who participates this year.”

Anderson was impressed by the variety of skills he was able to develop during his CLDP participation. “Not only do you get to learn great leadership skills, but you also get to take technical courses related to your craft to further your knowledge base in the field,” he said. “Another opportunity within the CLDP is getting to shadow the other departments within WAPA to further gain an  understanding of how all the pieces work together to fulfill our mission.”

In order to qualify for participation, applicants must have a performance rating of “meets expectations” or higher on their most recent performance review. Additionally, they must not be participating in other training or developmental programs by the time

the CLDP starts up in June.

Up to 12 candidates may be selected from the pool of qualified applicants, and participants are required to agree to a two-year service agreement.

WAPA is committed to providing training opportunities for all employees. 

“I’m looking forward to this next cohort,” said Murray. “It’s always rewarding to guide a new group of participants, helping them gain skills and experience while they learn about how WAPA works as a whole and how to adapt to an ever-changing work  environment. It’s an excellent program, and a perfect example of WAPA’s core value to seek, share, partner.”

Note: Reed is a public affairs specialist. Eric Barendsen contributed to this story.

Last modified on September 12th, 2023