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TRC Powers Up New Testing and Commissioning Training Center

Brian Moores | May 8, 2019

Last year TRC formally opened its Testing and Commissioning Training Center in Lancaster, Penn., a state-of-the-art facility that offers hands-on learning in a fully equipped mock substation that looks and acts just like the real thing.

The training center is home to the TRC Power Academy, an intensive 10-week educational program that blends a comprehensive, interactive curriculum with hands-on exercises to teach engineers and technicians how to safely and efficiently test and commission equipment and systems.

“The experience you gain here – being able to put your hands on stuff, being able to test relays and go through prints – you can’t get that anywhere else,” said Alex Coulthard, a TRC test technician who was part of the first group of Power Academy graduates.

Substation testing and commissioning is a unique service that often requires workers to operate in high risk situations. The TRC program builds foundational skills before employees are asked to enter the field and deliver quality results to clients.

Power Academy students have represented a range of ages, skills and experience levels, and have come from across the country. Recent college graduates with no field experience have joined engineers with several years of substation relay training to learn from each other and build valuable professional and personal relationships.

“It’s awesome,” said Nicholas Johnson, TRC commissioning engineer. “I have learned a lot and built a really strong foundation. I have made a ton of connections and a lot of friendships. I have worked with several companies over my career and none of them were doing anything like this.”

Bishoy Attia, a commissioning engineer who joined TRC from another firm, agreed.

“It was great to be part of this training, great to meet everyone,” he said. “Everyone had unique experience and we all helped each other grow and learn. It was great to refresh my information. Even though I have some experience, there were things I used to overlook and now I understand that they are really important.”

The Power Academy program is just the start. Graduates then spend six months working in the field before coming back to the classroom for more advanced training. In between their project work over the next 18 months, they participate in a series of higher-level courses to train them far beyond the baseline fundamentals.

“In my time at TRC, being involved with the team that has developed the Power Training Academy has been one of my proudest moments,” said Jason Hostetter Sr. Vice President of Field Operations. “Our training center differentiates us from our competitors in the eyes of our employees, prospective employees and clients.”

The program isn’t limited to new hires. Veteran testing and commissioning employees can access the training center for project troubleshooting, simulation of upcoming projects where special training or preparation is needed or to simply learn client preferences and specifications for more efficient job start-up.

TRC has also hosted clients at the facility for classroom instruction, substation equipment demonstrations and testing simulations.


Interested in visiting the TRC Testing and Commissioning Training Center or want more information? Contact Brian Moores at

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Brian Moores, PE

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