Bonneville Power

  www.bpa.gov
  www.bpa.gov
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1 person found this helpful  

Great place to work

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

I worked at Bonneville Power (more than 10 years)

Pros

All types of jobs are available and if you do not qualify because of knowledge they have education programs. BPA is located in four state and it is possible to move around.

Cons

Should hire more people of color.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Hire more people of color in management.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

37 Other Employee Reviews for Bonneville Power (View Most Recent)

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Contractors Beware

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Bonneville Power as a contractor

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, low stress, and a regular paycheck, that's about it. Some great people, but many realize you won't be around for long and keep their distance.

    It could be a great experience for contractors, but read on to find out why it isn't.

    Cons

    You will be working for a contracting company and work on site with other contractors and federal workers. The contracting companies only interest is in collecting 30 to 50% of the total bill rate and to pay the contractor the minimum. They will resist in most cases paying for things not clearly defined in the contract. Therefore you must be careful in the upfront negotiations or you will suffer.

    Remember you are being hired only with the skills you currently have, you are no more and no less for your entire tenure at BPA.

    Most of the interesting work at BPA is contracted out to third parties, remember it is Bonneville Power ADMINISTRATION. You don't get to do the interesting work, you administer those who do that work.

    Management is poor with little backbone, BPA spends so much time trying to make everyone in the region is happy very little gets done in an acceptable time frame. You will learn to be patient.

    Contractors fall into two categories, under performers who will be fired eventually or good performers who, if they are worth their salt, will be looking for permanent work elsewhere. BPA needs a new strategy if they actually expect to retain good talent. The biggest issue here is that they have a FTE limit arbitrarily set so that they can only have so many Federal employees, the rest must be contractors.

    Expect poor benefits, low pay, constant road blocks (especially for contractors), and seeing federal employees skate-by doing minimal work (although some are really great).

    I recommend considering a contract position only if:
    1. You negotiate a very good payrate, remember to included costs of wages, benefits, training, etc
    2. You are desperate for work or a paycheck
    3. You don't mind being reminded how little you can do (only Federal employees can 'make decisions', write contracts, etc) and / or are valued
    4. You don't expect to grow in your career, no raises, no training

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need a better solution for supplemental labor, unless the status quo meets your needs, it definitely didn't meet my needs though.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Yet Another Contractor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Bonneville Power

    Pros

    - Except for a few bad apples, other contractors are great to work with. There are a few, and I stress "few", full timers that care about their jobs.
    - A huge amount of work for people - there is always something broke.
    - Due to all of the systems, there is always something to learn on or play with.
    ....uh, yea, that's about it. This review is going to be long...

    Cons

    - SOME of the full timers (aka: FTE's) are competent, but the majority should be tossed out.
    - Management is just useless at BPA. I could list all kinds of reasons, but please trust me that management here is terrible. They refuse to allow good things to happen due to multiple points that could span a book. Most major projects (like upgrading desktops) fail, then are renamed, fail again, renamed - see a pattern here? That was a real example...
    - The contracting companies control all aspects of life for a contractor. BPA is not allowed to provide feedback, most pay a crappy amount of the actual contract amount (negotiate VERY hard for a rate) and most of the companies are "body farms". Use Glassdoor for the company you're working with and ensure to use ALL their names to locate all the reviews on them.
    - Some groups go out of their way to make life miserable for everyone, including the janitors. It seems that groups that are almost completely FTE's seem to have this issue. This can be everything from people complaining about stupid stuff to "Shh people working here" signs ALL OVER the place.
    - LAYOFFS - That's right folks, a government agency is laying contractors off left and right while the President claims things are getting better. Yet another failed DOE "investment". If you're not working on a project that is not O&M, be afraid for your job.
    - Too much work. As another contractor pointed out, there are more IT depts than there should be, about 300 more IT employees than there should be and nearly 1 server (VM and Physical) per employee at this place. Again - always something broke, which you will no doubt re-fix again later.
    - Small cubes where you can touch both walls at the same time.
    - The FTE's are walled in with Unions and extra rules and regs. As a contractor, you have absolutely no rights.
    - 2 IT directors because things are so bad, people are worried (and partially because the current one was seen packing his office up).
    - I hope you like silo's because we're all walled off and there are turf wars over whom does what on each type of server.
    - 3 internal business units run this one company. Transmission, Power and Energy Efficiency are all depts that act like spoiled brats when they want something. Having all the money, everyone bends over backwards to make those groups happy. All do what they want, when they want, to include going outside the company for the same services that are provided internally.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    First, I am a current contractor, not someone that is upset due to the recent layoffs. As with most of the competent contractors at BPA, I'm looking for jobs elsewhere.

    For "Sr Management", I don't think there's a hope for you or this place. Knowing your pay structure and how things work, things will not change unless BPA gets privatized.

    We wouldn't have as many budget issues if we started acting like other companies our size and perform the following:

    - STOP all internal development. There are far too many internal custom-coded applications that are worthless or are coded for 1-time use. Buy shrink-wrapped software and be done with it. You will not please everyone.
    - You have full teams that do almost nothing but muck things up, but yet they're allowed to continue to exist. Most of these teams
    - Learn to say NO to internal clients.
    - We've got more servers than any company our size needs unless we were in the hosting industry. A data center on almost every floor!? Start cutting down on the VM's! This would cut down on stuff like 1 FTE owning about 1/4 of an environment in VM's (Yet another real example).
    - Start utilizing a cross-billing system. Certain orgs are asked to provide all kinds of support with no internal billing mechanism to bill another dept for their use (abuse?) of services.
    - You're paying millions for contractors, why don't you use those qualities? We provide more knowledge and experience than almost any FTE. Start using us to FIX your environment instead of limping it along before we get tired and leave.

    Even the honest FTE's will state that this is the most silo'd and messed up that BPA has been in history. Something is dreadfully wrong in the land of Oz.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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