Best Places to Work in IT 2010 Employer Profile

No. 65

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Sacramento, Calif. [Pacific]

Why you want to work there

One of the largest locally owned electric utilities in the United States, SMUD was recently awarded a $128 million Department of Energy Smart Grid Stimulus Grant, and IT employees here will play a major role in managing and integrating the projects undertaken under that grant. The funding will be used to defray the cost of deploying 600,000 smart meters, automating the distribution system, launching a 50,000-customer demand response program, installing infrastructure to support plug-in hybrid electric cars, and rolling out a dynamic pricing scheme to a subset of residential customers. Pay for performance: Employees of the Sacramento, Calif.-based utility can earn annual bonuses equal to as much as 10% of their salaries. The exact amount of the bonuses is determined based on the performances of the individual, his business unit and SMUD as a whole. The utility also has a couple of employee recognition programs. In one, any employee can recognize an outstanding performance by any other employee, with the rewarded employee receiving points that can be used to purchase items at the SMUD store. In another, known as the Great Job Program, any member of the management team can recognize an outstanding performance by any employee, and the recognized employees are entered in a monthly prize drawing. SMUD offers wellness programs on topics such as weight management, fitness, tobacco cessation, heart health, stress management, healthy cooking and more. All employees are offered technical and soft-skills training customized to their professional career paths and SMUD's core values and business needs. Training is offered on-site, but employees can also take advantage of computer-based training or participate in classes via webconferencing and take courses offered by third-party training firms. Subjects covered include power management via green energy and other topics related to generating and delivering electricity. Employees are also encouraged to pursue professional certifications and attend conferences such as SAP TechEd conferences. SMUD's professional career path training program includes a course of study for supervisors called "Building Leadership Talent;" the utility also offers a business analyst certificate program in partnership with Sacramento State University.

Rank by company size:
Small, No. 8

Employee Statistics

Total U.S.-based employees: 2,247

Total U.S.-based IT employees: 139

IT employee turnover in 2009: 5%

IT promotions in 2009: 6%


Training days offered per IT employee in 2009: 7

Training budget per IT employee in 2009: $1,270

Women in IT

Total percentage of women within IT: 27%

Percentage of IT managers who are women: 12%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are women: 30%

Minorities in IT

Total percentage of minorities within IT: 25%

Percentage of IT managers who are minorities: 29%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are minorities: 25%