Blog | ATC
Every minute of every day, we keep the power flowing. The safe and reliable operation of our system and energy of our people contribute to the vital connection between where power is generated and where it is needed. We are experts at what we do: planning, maintaining, operating and protecting the regional electric grid.
In the past two decades, the energy landscape has rapidly evolved. Our customers and other organizations across the Upper Midwest are pursuing new energy goals that are affecting changes to generation sources. At the same time, we are developing efficiencies and technologies that strengthen the grid during the transition to provide a safe and reliable pathway for all forms of power.
Our fast-paced and innovative environment offers current and future employees exciting opportunities to build meaningful careers. We are also investing in community and education programs focused on STEM education to empower youth for success in tomorrow’s energy sector.
In so many ways, ATC is proud to be energizing your future. Read more here.
ATC donated 612 trees – equal to the number of three-point shots the Milwaukee Bucks made at Fiserv Forum during the 2022-23 regular season – to nearly 120 Wisconsin schools that registered for the 2022-23 Trees for Threes program. The program calls for ATC to donate one tree for every three-pointer the Bucks make at home during the regular season.
To celebrate the culmination of the seventh year of the Trees for Threes program, ATC and the Bucks held a tree planting ceremony at Milwaukee College Prep on May 16. Bango (the Bucks’ mascot), seven Bucks “volun-deers” and seven ATC employee volunteers helped approximately 50 third-grade students from Milwaukee College Prep plant the three trees the school received from the program.
Bucks Executive Vice President of Business Operations and Milwaukee College Prep board member Raven Jemison, ATC Vice President of External Affairs and Communications Greg Levesque and Milwaukee College Prep Principal Robert Rauh gave remarks during the ceremony.
“Congratulations to the Bucks on a record-breaking season of three-pointers,” said Levesque. “Our partnership with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Trees for Threes program continues to be a win for local schools. Planting and learning more about trees can be a valuable STEM lesson for students. ATC is focused on getting the next generation excited about STEM opportunities like those in forestry, environmental ecology, engineering and cybersecurity.”
The Bucks’ 612 threes made at Fiserv Forum this season marked a new franchise record for three-pointers made in a season at home and were tied for third-most by any team in the NBA during the 2022-23 season. The 612 trees were donated to nearly 120 schools in 43 counties across Wisconsin. In seven seasons of the Trees for Threes initiative, the Bucks and ATC have teamed up to donate more than 3,500 trees to help make Wisconsin greener.
Introduced and tested in 2019, Solo-Driver Plus was used on a construction project for the first time in its history. The patent-pending foundation installation method installed 80 caisson foundations to support new steel structures for transmission line rebuild project in Adams and Waushara counties.
Set up and driving takes minutes to accomplish with Solo-Driver Plus with very little ground disturbance, making it faster and more environmentally friendly than traditional installation methods.
After the launch of the initial Solo-Driver design in 2015, a team of engineers focused on evolution of the excavator installed caisson concept. Solo-Driver Plus’s “H” design provided ATC the opportunity to improve drivability and corrosion resistance as well as simplify fabrication, potentially reducing associated costs. A second variation was also developed and initially tested that has the potential to be used on more heavily loaded structures.
ATC submitted a patent application for Solo-Driver Plus in February 2023 and anticipates being awarded a final patent sometime in 2024 or 2025. Solo-Driver and Solo-Driver Plus continue to be great examples of ATC’s spirit of innovation.
International Women’s Day is an annual holiday intended to celebrate the history and accomplishments of women as well as recognize the existence of inequity for women worldwide. At ATC, we strive to provide intentional resources and benefits to female employees that support their careers, personal life and passions. You can read more about the benefits we offer all employees by viewing our careers site.
In acknowledgement of International Women’s Day, we’ve compiled quotes from three of the many female employees at ATC who serve as positive role models to women and girls everywhere. Read their stories below.
“The reward of being a working mom is being able to lead by example. My kids get to see me as a professional – unafraid to take on challenges, speak, and be heard. When looking for a hero or someone to look up to, they don’t have to look outside of their home.” – Rita, ATC project specialist
“Women are just as capable of holding science, technology, engineering and math positions as men and should not be shut out of these often higher-paying jobs. I can’t show enough appreciation for women who have blazed the trail before me and how they have made my time in STEM easier.” – Christine, ATC senior project manager
“I started at ATC almost 17 years ago, unmarried and without children. Now as a mom of two boys, ATC continues to support me and enables me to grow my career. I continue to provide for my family, feeling challenged and valued as a woman (not just “mom”) in a fulfilling career with people that genuinely care about and advocate for my success.” – Marcia, ATC regional manager
Students pursuing STEM education program talk with ATC, M.J. Electric and Electric TV
Under an azure sky in the early morning of Feb. 28, a steady stream of cars filed into the Hill Valley Substation access road near Montfort, Wis. Nearly 40 students from Southwest Wisconsin Technical College parked across a span of frosty, wooden mats and emerged from their cars to huddle around ATC senior construction manager, Zac Eide, for the day’s safety brief.
Students and staff from the school, ATC representatives, members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractors Association shuffled their way down the still-frozen mud to get a firsthand look at one of the largest substations under construction in ATC’s footprint. It was the first of five stops along the route for the students to see the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project – a nearly complete, 102-mile, 345,000-volt transmission line that stretches from western Dane County, Wisconsin, to Dubuque County, Iowa.
Throughout the tour, there was no shortage of questions.
“How much oil can the transformer hold?” one student asked.
“What are the corona rings for?” asked another.
“What’s the size of this pier foundation?”
“How much does a substation like this even cost?”
“Why is the conductor woven together like that?”
“All great questions,” remarked Eide, who fielded the inquiries.
The SWTC students are enrolled in the school’s Electric Power Distribution program. While the focus is on electric distribution, it’s often a first step that many students take before enrolling in an apprenticeship. EDP is a 9-month science, technology, engineering and math program that includes an added bonus: earning a commercial driver’s license upon completion.
ATC alliance contractors, M.J. Electric and MP Systems, have given many SWTC students an apprenticeship in the past, which sometimes leads to that individual working on ATC property.
IBEW 953 organizer and SWTC liaison, Nick Webber, had contacted ATC in fall 2022 to request the tour. He followed the group with a bright smile, knowing that the students were gaining unique insight into construction techniques from ATC’s contractor for the project, M.J. Electric.
The tour was documented by Electric TV, a Colorado-based film crew representing the IBEW and NECA. Their joint program features an online broadcast of electrical union laborers working on complex infrastructure projects throughout the country. The online segment is scheduled to be live in March 2023.
Following the full rotation around the substation components and control house, the group traveled to see the new transmission line construction in portions of Iowa and Dane counties. Across the various stops throughout the morning, students had the opportunity to watch the M.J. Electric crews drilling, framing, setting and doing wire work.
“Just to see what they’re doing in the substations and the transmission lines…it’s a really big deal,” said SWTC student, Connor Murray. “Seeing it firsthand really helps put everything all together that you learn in school and it’s really good exposure to what we’re going to be doing when we get out of school.”
Fellow student Kevin Jones offered, “I had a previous career in law enforcement corrections, and I wanted a change. Being a student at Southwest Tech and being part of the tour, you get the opportunity to see what the crews are doing up close and personal. We can read about it and see videos but being here and getting a walk-through step by step, it really opens your eyes. It’s kind of neat to see the guys working and know we’ll have a chance to do what they’re doing.”
The tour concluded back at the Hill Valley Substation at midday. By then, the sun had melted the frosty mats and the frozen walkways gave way to softer grounds.
“This was a good day,” said Eide. “Given the engagement and all their interest, hosting these students from SWTC on our Cardinal-Hickory Creek project was an important investment, and time well spent. The students got the opportunity to learn, and we got an opportunity to shape their futures.”