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Blog | American Transmission Co. - Part 3

Learn more about ATC’s Cristo Rey High School interns

High School interns interviewed about their experience at ATC so far

By Stephanie Hernandez

ATC interns from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School are settling in to their new roles and were recently asked why they wanted to attend a school with a work-study program. They all answered a similar thing: each student knew that this experience would help them in college and their careers. Sytlaly Guzman even added that “many of us are first generations in our family, so this is a great opportunity to set an example and prepare ourselves for our future.”

Martin Guerrero-Chavez works in the IT department helping them with inventory, cleaning equipment that is used, and learning how manage things on computers. One thing Martin appreciates from working here in that everyone is loving. Martin also included that his co-workers have taught him that he can still have a good time and get the job done. He even adds that this gives him motivation to do his work and get outside his comfort zone. Working at ATC has helped Martin learn about certain equipment and to be careful with personal information that is given. Martin knows that at times he might forget or misinterpret instructions but can always count on people around him for help.

Sophomore Sytlaly Guzman is spending her second year working in the human capital and facilities department. Sytlaly does a variety of things such as helping at the front desk, stocking coffee in kitchens or office supplies, and helps the department by filing contingent worker information. Sytlaly enjoys working here because as she states, “every time I walk in those doors, I feel welcomed. My office is filled with a lot of people who are available to answer any of my questions.” She gets multiple tasks throughout the day and completes them at her own pace. Sytlaly also mentions that working at ATC has helped her improve a lot with her communication skills and time management; furthermore, it has helped her break her comfort shell.

Maya Saavedra is a senior, and it is also her second year working with ATC at the Service Desk. She helps with wiping personal computers, imaging and re-imaging, wire maintenance, setting up new PC’s, and any other tasks she is given. One thing that Maya says she likes about working at ATC is the people she works with and how everyone is so friendly. Maya also adds that while working here, she has expanded her knowledge about troubleshooting and PC work. One of the things Maya struggled with the most was with the processes like imaging and re-imaging, but whenever she asked questions at the service desk, everyone was willing to help her.

As for myself, Stephanie Hernandez – I am a junior, who works with the corporate communications department. My tasks include media filing, drafting ideas for articles or writing articles, overseeing printed material inventory / supplies, attending meetings and helping with any other projects. I appreciate that everyone I work with is always positive, willing to help, and very welcoming. ATC has really helped improve my communication skills, especially with adults. I can now hold a conversation with someone and I am not afraid to ask for help. Additionally, I am improving my writing and editing skills.

I asked the interns to suggest a piece of advice they would give themselves on their first day working at ATC, and this is what they shared:

 “Pay attention and don’t be too nervous because everyone is very kind and willing to help” – Martin Guerrero-Chavez

“Don’t be so nervous to talk to people; they are always here to help you around the office. Just be confident and trust that your supervisors know the best for you and for your future.” – Sytlaly Guzman

“Be open to growth, ask for help when you need it and don’t be scared because everyone here is so welcoming and accessible. People care about you and want the best for you.” – Stephanie Hernandez

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions because everyone here wants to see you grow and succeed.” – Maya Saavedra

Stephanie Hernandez            Maya Saavedra              Sytlaly Guzman                    Martin Guerrero- Chavez

ATC vegetation management team cultivates partnership with UW-Stevens Point

A partnership between American Transmission Co.’s vegetation management team and the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point is providing real-world utility arboriculture education and training to College of Natural Resources students.

Each fall, UWSP forestry professor Les Werner, Ph.D., teaches Forestry 331 – Landscape Maintenance/Arboriculture to about 30 students.

“In 2016, Dr. Werner asked for ATC’s assistance with incorporating utility arboriculture into the class curriculum,” said Adam Helminiak, vegetation management consultant. “It started with a couple of two-hour labs and has grown into two lectures and two labs. Both are presented during the fall.”

The vegetation management team developed an outline for the two-hour field labs and a PowerPoint presentation for the lecture. The lecture covered general electrical knowledge, why utilities manage vegetation, working around electricity, career opportunities in the field, and vegetation management tools and technology.

“This is a great opportunity to introduce students to utility vegetation management and expose them to job opportunities in our industry,” said Ben Gura, senior vegetation management specialist.

The field lab sessions covered utility arboriculture as a professional industry, how electricity flows from generation to the consumer, compliance, environmental stewardship and clearing rights, hazard tree identification and risk management, among other topics.

“We continue to build a great relationship with our UWSP partner, and our team feels this is very meaningful to ATC and the utility vegetation management industry,” Helminiak said.

ATC employees help Milwaukee’s homeless

American Transmission Co. believes in the power of United Way to make our community stronger. In our annual campaign, ATC employees raised a total of nearly $200,000 for United Way.

United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County set an ambitious goal this year to end family homelessness in its four-county area by 2025. To help support that goal, employees assembled winter care kits and volunteered as guest advocates for United Way’s Project Homeless Connect.

Project Homeless Connect is an annual event that supports individuals experiencing homelessness by providing them with vital resources and services under one roof. Guest advocates escort individuals who attend the event, helping them connect with providers of housing support, vision and health care, transportation, job training and personal care.

ATC employee guest advocates found it rewarding to share smiles and interesting conversation while escorting their guests to receive haircuts, apply for birth certificates, receive essential clothing and hygiene items and more. Project Homeless Connect is a welcome respite for people in need, and it was an honor for our volunteers to share joyful moments and be a part of United Way’s effort to help end homelessness.

ATC, Milwaukee Bucks tip off fourth season of Trees for Threes

There’s good news for Wisconsin schools today.

American Transmission Co. and the Milwaukee Bucks have announced our fourth season of partnership for the Trees for Threes program, which is deeply rooted in care for the environment and cause for the community.

Here’s how it works: for every 3-point shot that the Bucks score at home during the 2019-2020 season, an eligible Wisconsin school can earn a tree. That 3-point score tracker starts its uptick on Saturday, Oct. 26 with the Bucks’ season opener against the Miami Heat at Fiserv.Forum in Milwaukee.

“We support initiatives that create a positive impact on the environment, education, and health and well-being,” said ATC’s Director of Corporate Communications, Anne Spaltholz. “Planting trees can be a valuable lesson for students. We hope the Bucks score hundreds more trees for area schools this season so that we can help create greener environments for years to come.”

Last year ATC donated 573 trees to more than 100 schools across Wisconsin, the fourth most threes made by any team at home in NBA history. Throughout the course of this partnership, ATC has donated more than 1,270 trees to make Wisconsin communities and schools a greener place.

Anticipating another big season, we think all those trees (and 3’s) are truly something to cheer about.

Click here to learn more information about the program, and to register.

Check out the photos from past planting events in the image gallery below.

Boss Lift showcases Air National Guard mission to employers

Two American Transmission Co. leaders were among several employers of Minnesota National Guard airmen who participated in the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Boss Lift held recently at the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, Minn.

Duane Schoon, ATC director of real time operations, and Kristie Erickson, ATC manager, system control, were nominated to participate by Air Force Senior Master Sgt. and ATC System Control Operator Chace Parask, who has served in the U.S. Military for 24 years.

The ESGR is a Department of Defense program that aims to promote a culture in which employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the U.S. National Guard and Reserve. Through the Boss Lift program, employers are transported, via military vehicle, aircraft or vessel, to military facilities where they observe Guard and Reserve members on duty.

Schoon and Erickson arrived at the wing in Duluth early on Sept. 13 and received a briefing about the 148th Fighter Wing provided by the public affairs officer and the unit executive officer. The morning also included a safety brief by a pilot from the 128th Air Refueling Wing from Milwaukee. The employers would ride in a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refueling aircraft that flew up from Milwaukee the night before for the refueling exercise.

“We also had a tour of the fighter wing’s maintenance hangar before we boarded the tanker for the refueling exercise,” Schoon said. “There was a 3-to-4-hour weather delay, but we finally were able to take off around 1 p.m. The approximate 2-hour flight was an exercise to practice refueling the F-16 fighter jets from 148th Fighter Wing.”

Schoon said he was impressed with the professionalism and the sense of mission Parask and his unit displayed. “They are, for very good reasons, very proud of their mission, their service, and their accomplishments. I was also reminded of the sacrifices the service members like Chace and their families make to protect our country,” he said.

Erickson said she enjoyed seeing Chace in his element and speaking with those he works with on the base. “Many people shared how much they like working with Chace. They reaffirmed the enthusiasm and commitment Chace brings to our team here at ATC.”

She is proud of ATC’s commitment to supporting military members. “Numerous people thanked Duane and myself that day for supporting Chace in his reserve duties and when he was deployed for a year, but the real thanks goes to ATC for giving us the resources to support that commitment.”