Met-Ed recruiting high school seniors for call center jobs

'You have to have good people skills'

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. - As the school year comes to a close, many high school seniors are staring reality in the face.

"We really try to help students come up with a plan for, we want 100 percent of students to have some sort of plan," said Kathleen Creelman, a college career counselor at Reading High School. "We know not all students are going to go to college."

FirstEnergy and its Berks County-based subsidiary, Met-Ed, are recruiting graduating high school seniors in Reading and surrounding areas to work as customer service representatives.

"They can decide on their career path as they go forward. Many people have gotten into the customer contact center, have stayed in that path for their entire careers," said Scott Surgeoner, a FirstEnergy spokesman. "Others have chosen other careers throughout the company."

According to officials at Reading High School, these are exactly the opportunities students are looking for.

"We actually have about 30 program partners that are currently employing some of our students right now," said Ivy Horn, a career program coordinator at Reading High School.

Applicants will get paid training at $11 an hour and, if offered full-time employment, will get a pay increase, health insurance and tuition reimbursement for those who pursue higher education.

What skill sets is FirstEnergy looking for?

"You have to have good people skills," said Surgeoner. "We do look for some computer skills because our system is computerized, but mainly it is people skills.

That first foray into the workforce can be stressful, but both Reading High and FirstEnergy said it's a great learning experience.

"We actually have students who then realize, OK, they need to find something, and they come back in the summer and we try to give them opportunities for that also," Creelman said.

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