Group photo: Members of Tampa Electric’s Distribution Design Technician team. Front row: Brandi Scott, Vickie Dilport, Denada Tereziu, Miosha Green, Danielle Meza. Back row: Giovanna diggs-Terc, Jodi Maxwell, Yvette Garcia, Shilah Bass, Alexis Bacho, Teena Simpson, Riley Liles, Scott Cannon (Director of Distribution Design & Engineering).
Left inset: Field Inspector Riley Liles inspects a meter.
Right inset: Jodi Maxwell inspects a pad-mount transformer.
Every home and building holds stories: the hopes, dreams and labor of the people who paid for and built them, the experiences of those who live and work there. But the intricate stories of how each of these places rose from a plan and plot of earth are just as important.
At Tampa Electric, more than ever, the co-authors of these stories are women.
They’re called distribution design technicians (DDTs), and they serve as the crucial link between the technical schematics for places and the hands-on work to ensure safe, reliable power is there before they open their doors for the first time. (Your home, where you work, restaurants where you eat, the mall, auto parts stores, etc. – all came together with key help from DDTs).
Female DDTs are now working in each Tampa Electric service area across West Central Florida, representing strides in how our world thinks about roles that were once exclusively dominated by men. Our DDTs may not exactly think of themselves as authors, but one of the fastest-growing places in the U.S. certainly needs the strong character, creative dedication, detail-oriented thinking and people-focus they bring to their roles (and yes, there’s a fair amount of paperwork in the form of blueprints and specs).
Look at a new home going up in your neighborhood, for example – how do we know where the temporary electric meter should go, as well as the permanent one? How do we know where to dig and where not to - to avoid underground infrastructure? Who serves as the liaison between the builder and the electric utility that’s delighted to serve their new project? Who makes sure solar panels on a home are planned for maximum effectiveness?
DDTs do all this and more.
In Their Own Words…
Many (but certainly not all) of our DDTs come from an all-important customer-service background at Tampa Electric, a company that loves to promote from within – and they’re a team that loves what they do. In a recent group interview with our female DDTs, they shared thoughts about their work and why it matters:
“You’re always learning something, and you get to go to all parts of the community we serve; you’re not going to get bored at Tampa Electric!”
“The job is like a real-life Minecraft.”
“I love to work outside, set my own schedule and see the results of my work – there’s a real sense of ownership and accomplishment.”
“I designed an entire subdivision!”
“We may work in the rain, but we’re fully safety-focused; we train for a year and then keep learning from there.”
“You really get to know the people you work with, including people with the city and county, with Verizon and Spectrum and other providers.”
“Living in the area I work in as a DDT, I’m always looking up at the electrical infrastructure.”
“Going on storm trips out-of-state to help with damage assessment in other communities after severe weather is so rewarding.”
“I can drive through my neighborhood and point out a new home to my daughter, and the pride I can take in telling her: ‘I helped create that!’”
New Chapters as the Adventure Continues…
Helping our community blossom into its full potential in a state that welcomes more than 1,000 new residents each day: that’s what our DDTs do. Depending on when you moved and where you live, you may not have seen them in action, but they’re out there – today, tomorrow, next week and into the future.
As Manager of Distribution Design Lori Wilson told her female DDTs, “My proudest moment on this job is all of you in this room! You’re beautiful, brave and the sky’s the limit for any of you.”
If home – or even business – is where the heart is, know there’s a ton of heart that goes into helping them become far more than just someone’s dream. That’s the story of Tampa Electric’s DDT team, and they’re sticking to it.