TVA’s CADNet Students Meet Telework Challenges with Success

TVA secured enough laptops and other equipment to ensure that CADNet could meet and exceed their customer’s expectations and students began working from home during the pandemic.

First job and paycheck.
Earn high school credit.
Get internship.
Full-time job after graduation.

These are just some of the benefits TVA’s CADNet School-to-Work Program can provide to high school and college students looking for STEM-related career paths – benefits that many feared would be jeopardized by the COVID-19 pandemic and mandatory telework.

Instead, TVA secured enough laptops and other equipment to ensure that CADNet could meet and exceed their customer’s expectations and students began working from home – just like their TVA counterparts – while also attending virtual high school and college courses.

Supporting Students

“Working remotely has allowed me to adjust my schedule to accommodate both college classes and work,” says Charlie Hamilton, CADNet student technician, “Since my classes and my TVA work are all online, I have been able to work more and increase productivity in both places. Not having to commute to the Knoxville Office Complex means even more time to work and study.”

CADNet has provided a valuable safety net to many students needing work during the uncertainty of the pandemic.

“Our students miss the social interaction with their friends, classmates and coworkers,” said CADNet Specialist Shawn Holt. But using virtual meeting software and web chats has helped bridge the gap for students accustomed to the CADNet office environment.

Holt says “Communication is at an all-time high and we see the appreciation for that not only from the students we hire, but from our partner schools as well.”

Breaking Records

Despite the challenges of reduced staffing and telework, CADNet was able to complete over 4,500 engineering drawings for various customers in TVA in FY20, breaking their previous fiscal year record.

“Everyone in the organization played an important role in helping CADNet achieve this success during this transition to telework status, and without their hard work and dedication, this would not have been possible,” says Janice Horn, Manager CADNet School-to-Work Program.

“We look forward to being back in our offices in the future,” continues Horn. “We have met the challenge of telework and we are ready for continued success well into the future.”

CADNet students work with TVA staff to do Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) drawings for engineering organizations across TVA. The program started with one school in 1995 and today partners with 42 high schools, community colleges and universities across the Valley.