Training and Lifelong Learning

Programs and processes to ensure the availability of skilled workforce

Avista Scholars Program

Avista partners with colleges and universities throughout our three-state service territory to provide several different scholarship opportunities for students. The mission of the Avista Scholars program is to promote excellence in the fields of math, science, technology and engineering, leading students to become innovators, problem solvers and diverse, talented employees of our future.

Partnership with Community Colleges

Avista partners with Spokane Community College to offer a course that provides an introduction to the electric lineman field. It is held at Avista’s Jack Stewart Training Center, a 10-acre lineman training facility, and is open to individuals interested in entry-level positions leading to career positions in the line craft. Participants learn, through hands-on and classroom experience, the skills and knowledge required for the position of a line crew helper.

2010 Pre-Line School
  2010 2009
Total of students graduated 70 64
Hours of training 43,680 39,936
Credits awarded per student 3,430 3,136

Apprentices—All Crafts 2010

Avista is committed to supporting an active apprentice program and journeyman training opportunities.

  2010 2009
Total of apprentices and journeymen trained 48 57
Number of active programs 10 10
Hours of training on the job 99,840 118,560
Hrs of training—classroom 4,310 6,172
Journeyman training
Advanced training hours non-gas 8,773* 1,880
Gas refresher 1,840 1,824
* In 2010 Avista added crane operator training and certification and fork lift training, dramatically increasing the number of training hours for apprentices.

Training opportunities at Avista are delivered as instructor-led, computer-based, field and workshop that include: craft, customer service, environmental, natural gas, desktop, warehouse, project management, gas for non-gas workers, health and safety, leadership development, electric, flagging/forklift, line, apprentice, journeyman, power resources, hydro, power supply, and new hire orientation.

Programs for skills management and lifelong learning and managing career endings

Aspiring Leaders Program

In its ninth year, the Aspiring Leaders Program provides development for those employees preparing to be considered for future leadership roles, given the large leadership retirement turnover expected in the future. This one-year program provides exposure to a variety of departments, training, mentoring and includes a team project.

College Tuition Aid

The company provides tuition assistance of up to $2,500 each year for undergraduate and master’s level studies in programs that add to employees’ performance and effectiveness in present or foreseeable jobs within the company.

Learning Center

Avista’s Learning Center was established in 1998 to promote lifelong learning for all employees. The center focuses on being proactive rather than reactive in terms of training and learning opportunities. Opportunities and resources available include audio/video tapes, books, journal/periodicals and self-study courses.


Avista offers a series of workshops, open to all employees, as part of an overall professional and leadership development program. Topics include leadership enhancement and retirement planning.