Jose Silverio grew up never taking electricity for granted.
In the rural town in the Dominican Republic where Silverio lived, electricity would regularly go out for hours and sometimes even days.
These days, Silverio, a senior engineer for PPL Electric Utilities, takes great pride in keeping the lights on for PPL customers in Pennsylvania.
He designs reliable electrical systems for large projects including residential and commercial developments. And during storm outages, he works to help direct crews to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.
Silverio’s passion for engineering comes partly from his father, a mechanical engineer. Silverio often tinkered with electric motors, radios and anything his father had lying around.
“I enjoyed figuring out how they work,” Silverio said. “I’d connect the electric motors to batteries to see how they turn or I’d cut up a bicycle and turn it into a tricycle.”
In 2008, after graduating high school, Silverio moved to the United States with family. He learned to speak English fluently, while working full-time and attending college. He graduated from Temple University in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology.
While in college, Silverio landed an internship with PPL. When it ended, he was hired full-time.
One of the highlights of Silverio’s young career was spending two weeks in the West African town of Mattru, Sierra Leone in January 2018 as part of a mission with Engineers Without Borders, an organization that designs and builds projects to help communities meet basic needs such as water and reliable energy.
Silverio and other volunteers built a toilet facility for a hospital and checked in on an earlier project at a school involving solar electricity installation, a clean water connection and sanitation facilities.
He looks forward to returning to make sure everything is still working – just like he does for PPL customers.
“That’s what I like the most – customer service,” Silverio said. “Keeping the lights on so people can go on with their lives and do all the things they want to do.”