Updated: 08/19/2014 10:42 PM
Created: 08/19/2014 5:01 PM KSTP.com
By: Tim Sherno
Xcel Energy has opened a 10-acre facility near Hugo to provide continuing education to existing technical crews and training for new employees.
Steve Foss, Regional Vice President of Distribution Operations with Xcel, says the facility will operate year round.
"We expect to put approximately 2,000 employees through this facility on an annual basis," Foss said.
Foss points to expected high attrition as baby boomers retire.
"Over the next 10 years at Xcel Energy, we expect, overall probably a 50 percent turnover and in many cases that's in our specialized jobs such as those trained here," he explained.
As of July 31, Xcel Energy had 12,775 employees.
By increasing training capabilities, Xcel hopes to stay ahead of a statewide trend. According to the state demographer, by the year 2020 there will be more Minnesotans 65 years old and older than younger Minnesotans of school age.
Currently, according to the state demographer, 70 percent of baby boomers are still participating in the workforce, but that percentage is expected to drop to just 30 percent in 10 years.
As those boomers leave the workforce, companies will face increasingly challenging recruitment.