"We look at information systems as an investment."
— Glenn Beebe, Director, Production Systems

Utility Large shop


American Electric Power Company generates, transmits, and distributes coal and electric power to more than 3 million customers in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Founded in the 1920s, the company is publicly held and headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. American Electric has 22,000 employees and revenues of $5 billion. Some unions are found in the power plants.

American Electric's headquarters building has won awards from the city of Columbus for its design and upkeep. The company's information systems department has been included in Information Week's largest (by budget and number of employees) 500 IS shops for the last five years. American Electric encourages its employees to be actively involved in community activities. Company executives support the local United Way and Operation Feed, which stocks local food banks for homeless and community shelters.



American Electric has multiple IBM 3090s, running under the MVS/ESA operating system. Its four data centers are connected and have LANs in all locations, tying together between 600 and 800 PCs. Languages used include COBOL, PL/I, Assembler, FORTRAN, NATURAL, and FOCUS. Additional software includes ADABAS, DB2, and Foundation.

American Electric employs approximately 300 computer professionals. Job titles include Programmer, Senior Programmer, Technical Analyst, Systems Analyst, Senior Systems Analyst, Lead Analyst, Project Manager, Director, and Vice President. Sixty percent of the work is new development; the balance is maintenance programming. Recently, computer professionals implemented a new accounts payable system by installing a Computer Associates package, customizing the package in COBOL.


Computer professionals work in cubicles in a nonsmoking environment, with designated smoking areas. Travel is limited, mostly to one-day trips. Overtime is needed in occasional spurts, but no more than five percent of an average week. Work hours are staggered in 15-minute increments but center around the hours 8 AM to 5 PM.

American Electric offers opportunities in client-server systems on its LANs and the opportunity to use CASE tools in a stable environment.

American Electric observes eleven holidays. The company offers two weeks of vacation to start, three weeks after five years, four weeks after fifteen years, and five weeks after twenty-five years. Benefits include medical, disability, dental, and life insurance; 75-percent tuition reimbursement; a retirement plan, and a savings plan.

American Electric is in the process of downsizing. The company has offered affected employees one month of salary for every year of service up to a maximum of twelve months, continued health insurance, and accelerated retirement options.


American Electric looks for computer professionals who are intelligent with a good business sense, not necessarily those with an exact technical match to its environment. Candidates should have good analytical and problem-solving skills and a stable job history. The experience of the current staff ranges from three to thirty-five years; the average level of education is a Bachelor's degree. American Electric does hire entry-level computer professionals with good grades and a combined business and technical education.

American Electric has had a hiring freeze for the last two years; otherwise the company would typically hire ten to twelve computer professionals a year, finding them through advertisements, job fairs, and colleges.


A letter with a resume is preferred.

Employment Office

American Electric Power Company, Inc.

1 Riverside Plaza

Columbus, Ohio 43215

Copyright 1995. Vandamere Press. Covin’s Midwest Computer Job Guide