Bonneville Power "bpa" Reviews | Glassdoor

Bonneville Power Employee Reviews about "bpa"

Updated Mar 21, 2020

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3.3
53%
Recommend to a Friend
80%
Approve of CEO
Bonneville Power Administrator Elliot Mainzer (no image)
Elliot Mainzer
35 Ratings
Pros
  • "Promote an excellent work life balance(in 14 reviews)

  • "The work I perform at BPA is extremely rewarding and I take pride in know what I do directly impacts the end use consumer(in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • "BPA hires their coffee buddies not the PM doing the lions share of the work(in 19 reviews)

  • "It was extremely bureaucratic and even extremely experienced contractors had no decision making authority(in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "bpa"

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  1. "Rewarding"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Power Market Analyst in Spokane, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bonneville Power full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The work I perform at BPA is extremely rewarding and I take pride in know what I do directly impacts the end use consumer.

    Cons

    Sometimes when unprecedented issues arise, management is shy to commit on a resolution.

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    Bonneville Power2020-03-21
  2. Helpful (3)

    "Project Manager-Civil Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Interdisciplinary Engineer in Vancouver, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bonneville Power full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Substation, Telecom, or Transmission Line projects are the 3 groups to work in. The work is challenging but very interesting.

    Cons

    There is a severe lack in resources in the environmental and realty organizations that grind your projects to a halt for 9-18 months, then once you have someone assigned to your team, they take nearly a year to do their job. "120 Days" actually means 300 days. BPA hires their coffee buddies not the PM doing the lions share of the work. If you want to be promoted just treat the supervisor to Starbucks, often. The PM's have zero control on the output from their team members but get blamed for delays. The PM supervisors do not step in to help when delays occur in Contacting or Environmental or Realty. BPA implemented a workflow to set milestones for project lifecycle but it only added more time to get a project done instead of highlighting the area the project is being stalled... A ton of money spent on change management to make the job harder not smarter. Contractors are abused verbally and supervisors look the other way.

    Bonneville Power2019-10-04
  3. "Good and Bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Bonneville Power

    Pros

    Long term positions for contractors offers some stability. Most of the contractors work here for years and years. The position comes up for recompete every 3 years. Most of the people are kind and wonderful to work with. If you are a FED, it's nearly impossible to lose your job. If you are a FED you have incredible pension and benefits.

    Cons

    The contractors are treated like 2nd class citizens at times due to the company and Federal contracting rules. Examples like office lunches only for the employees but not the contractors. The day before a 3 day weekend, employees are allowed to leave 2 hours early (paid) but if you are a contractor, who isn't paid holidays, you might have to work 10 hr shifts all that week to make up that day off. Occasionally you may be reminded by employees that you are a contractor and they can have your contract ended by complaining about you. Valid or not. There isn't a lot of fresh blood coming into the company through leadership or management and many of the people have worked at BPA for 20-30 years and never been anywhere else. As a result, they miss out on bringing in diverse ideas and industry best practices and this can lead to a slightly inbred and dysfunctional culture. It's the Federal Government...everything takes twice as long and three times as much to do. BEWARE: As contractors the negotiated pay and benefits vary GREATLY for the same exact position. Be incredibly careful as some of the slimy contractor firms will hire you without any benefits, holidays or offer you a low rate and blame it on Federal Government not paying well, but in reality they pay their contractors VERY well. Some people in the same position make 20% difference based on who the company they signed up with for the same position. You will be stuck with that Vendor and are not allowed to switch until 3 years when your recompete comes up.

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    Bonneville Power2018-09-24
  4. Helpful (1)

    "Overstaffed legal department; no opportunity for advancement"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Attorney in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Bonneville Power full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Bonneville is a major force in the Pacific Northwest; its influence is felt far beyond the electric utility industry. The work is interesting when you can get it.

    Cons

    Legal department is grossly overstaffed; there is competition for interesting work and no opportunity for advancement beyond GS-14. And the biggest con of all is that BPA is part of the US Deparment of Energy, and therefore subject to political whims and stifling bureaucracy.

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    Bonneville Power2018-01-28
  5. Helpful (4)

    "They still discriminate against veterans"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Vancouver, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Bonneville Power full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great mission. They stand on the shoulders of giants! The engineering done at BPA is still first rate.

    Cons

    They have not had good leadership for 30 years. The HR department is bereft of knowledge on federal personal practices. They have a deep culture that dislikes military veterans even after their recent hiring debacle. They drive away young staff in droves which might be a pro...other utilities snatch them up!

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    Bonneville Power2018-01-10
  6. Helpful (12)

    "Crony ism and Abusive Behavors"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Engineering in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Bonneville Power for less than a year

    Pros

    Benefits and Compensation. The cost of a contract employee is nearly 2X the cost of a Federal Employee but the contract employee is a second class....temporary.....employee. However; the compensation must be equivalent for the employment classification and the contract agent receives constant monthly revenue, about 187% of the combined monthly salary and benefit package, for adding no value.

    Cons

    Working for Bonniville Power as a Contractor is a Forest Gump box of chocolates. The contractor system by the US Government is a system that is rife with abuse and excessive tax payer cost. The reason that it exists is because the USG has a rule to hire from the government rolls e.g. veterans of government service first; however, that hiring is considered 'permanent' whereas hiring contractors is temporary but renewable; therefore, it is easy to 'fire' a contractor and nearly impossible to get rid of a government employee resulting in lots of contract position in particular departments where specialized technical skills are required. In these situations; the contractor is; by government definition, the 'worker' and the any government employee is the 'manager' and senior employee regardless of the fact that they have zero competence in the specialty for which the contractor was hired. This results in a very negative dynamic for the contractor by institutionalizing a kind of caste system where incompetence rules and pettiness is enabled and encouraged. Beware of this environment it can be very toxic; particularly, if one has significant skills. Ask lots of questions, learn about human resources, and always be seeking another better position. BPA is a good organization to pad your resume but understand; it will literally require an act of Congress to make your contract position permanent.....and, then beware of what you wish.

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    Bonneville Power2017-12-19
  7. Helpful (5)

    "Good for work-life balance, nerds need to work on collaboration and communication"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cartographer in Vancouver, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bonneville Power full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    good work-life balance opportunities, support family care needs, technologically advanced, training opportunities for those who work hard, upper management tries to create a supportive, inclusive work environment, a lot of diversity training is available

    Cons

    Onsite contractors make up 50% of the employees in many work groups, which can create tension and poor morale because the federal employees get better benefits and overall respect. If you're a compassionate person it can be frustrating. There are a lot of people working in silos - off on their own without collaborating with others. This creates duplication of effort and wasted resources. Its getting better though - upper management has really taken on the task of making BPA a better place to work. Engineers can be very critical and nerdy. Quality of life here depends a lot on who your manager is.

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    Bonneville Power2017-05-02
  8. "The Government has never looked Better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Electrical Engineering Co-Op in Vancouver, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Bonneville Power for less than a year

    Pros

    Insane project funding Lots of benefits Extremely motivated employees Excellent work environment The engineers are extremely smart, friendly, and overall amazing to work with Fast paced work environment where you are pushed to your maximum ability

    Cons

    The management/HR side of BPA is handled very badly The amount of work that can get done is hindered greatly by HR IT services are slow, sometimes taking weeks to respond to any problems

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    Bonneville Power2017-01-07
  9. Helpful (8)

    "Look elsewhere"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Bonneville Power

    Pros

    Decent work life balance in some organizations.

    Cons

    Favoritism. Lack of advancement opportunities due to favoritism even though BPA failed their OIG hiring audit. Strong entitlement attitude among long time federal employees. Difficult place to work. Slackers are rewarded with light workloads while super stars are overloaded. Both get paid the same thanks to the federal OPM wage scales.

    Bonneville Power2016-08-17
  10. Helpful (10)

    "Hostile work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bonneville Power

    Pros

    Just like any other federal position: stability, decent pay, days off, etc.

    Cons

    Management who does not want anyone to make waves. Your immediate supervisor will have the blind faith and support of his manager because the manager just doesn't want to deal with your valid concerns. Culture of a hostile work environment and outright mistreatment of employees. Furthermore, OPM cannot do anything for you because BPA is self-funding--independent, and impossible to reign in.

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    Bonneville Power2016-07-11
Found 28 reviews