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Q&A with Melanie Peck, Director of People & Culture

As a HR and workforce development professional, we asked City Light’s Director of People & Culture, Melanie Peck, to share her expertise on working in public power, employee appreciation and the future of energy workforce. Here are her amazing insights just in time for Employee Appreciation Day on Friday, March 3.

Q: What kind of advice would you give to someone who was looking to join a public utility like Seattle City Light?

A: I like to think that there is no place like Seattle City Light. I’d love for folks to start their career journey with us! Public utilities, in general, have so much to offer career-wise and they play such a critical role in our communities.  Municipal utilities like City Light have a wide variety of career opportunities and there really is something for every level of experience and education.

City Light invests heavily in learning and development—putting our people first and making sure they have what they need to be the best in the industry. We’re constantly rethinking, reimagining, and improving. If that sounds attractive to any potential candidates out there, we want to meet you! 

Q: As a human resources and workforce development professional, why do you think employee appreciation matters?

A: People are the most valuable resource in any organization. City Light is relationship-based, and that means putting the needs of people first—both our workforce and our customers. Relationships, trust, and meaningful engagement are critical to employee happiness and development. Employees need to know that their work matters, their time and perspectives are valued, and that they are seen, recognized, and rewarded for their contributions. 

I think people have always wanted recognition and appreciation—that’s just human nature—but now, it’s completely critical in an employee’s decision to apply with and stay at an organization. Intentional employee appreciation is the right thing to do for the workforce and is essential for productivity. Appreciation can look like a lot of different things. It can be praise, investment in development opportunities, merit-based raises or rewards, or teambuilding. City Light uses a variety of methods to say thank you to our workforce. 

Q: At City Light, we put a lot of focus on creating our energy future—what do you think the workforce of the future looks like to help support that?

A: Our energy future is inclusive, accessible and community focused. As we navigate market transformation and build the future of energy for Seattle City Light, I want our current workforce, future employees, and community members to see themselves in a collective vision and to know that they won’t be left behind. 

I see a future where our workforce better reflects the communities we impact and serve. The best ideas happen when there is diversity of lived experience, thought, education, and professional exposure. I think a successful workforce will be adaptable, innovative, and committed to lifelong learning. There’s a place for everyone at City Light—we have biologists, line workers, machinists, engineers, and just a myriad of other professions that are all critical to our mission.  Each career path here is different—but all are important, and all require curious minds.

I’d encourage anyone who is interested in public service, the future of energy and meaningful work to get to know us. LinkedIn, social media, the City of Seattle website, and are great places to start. Check out our Apprenticeship program and earn while you learn, one of our dozens of internships, or active job postings