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04/23/2004 ~ Ten Keys Energy Services (KEYS) employees, representing a wide range of professions within KEYS, recently graduated from the utility’s leadership program, GEAR (Goals-Effort-Attitude-Risk) Up.

GEAR Up was developed in an effort to identify and provide future KEYS leaders with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the structure and inner workings of the electric utility in which they work.

In addition to investing 32 hours in class time and touring KEYS facilities, the “students” participated in several job-shadowing opportunities and attended meetings with Senior Staff and Utility Board members throughout the year.

Susan Ham, an accountant and KEYS employee for 16 years, said GEAR Up, “helps give participants a better understanding of the utility, the size of the service area, how the utility meets the needs of customers, and the different functions the departments employ to meet the needs of customers.”

In order to officially graduate from the program, the entire class had to conceive and fully develop at least one project/program. This year’s class developed four projects/programs. They included a mentoring program for new employees called Keys Employee Mentoring (KEM), a one stop utilities payment program where KEYS customers can drop off all of their utility bills in KEYS Service Building lobby, purchasing a moving sign message display to announce up-to-date KEYS information in the main lobby of KEYS Service Building, and
creating a Memory Wall that lists the names of all past and active duty deceased City Electric System and KEYS employees. GEAR Up class participants will present their program/project ideas to the Board in May.

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