People — employees, customers, suppliers and community members — make the difference at APS. Employees are critical to our success now and in the future. We maintain a diverse and inclusive work environment because we know that the different backgrounds, perspectives and ideas of our 6,400 employees are essential to our success. In 2015, 32 percent of new hires were ethnically diverse and 21 percent were veterans. For the second year in a row, we were named to GI Jobs Magazine’s list of America’s Top 100 Military-Friendly Employers in 2015. These new hires enter a workplace dedicated to developing the best in its employees. In fact, employee development has been designated as one of our four Corporate Strategic Initiatives in 2015, with a focus on “adopting sustainable programs to invest in our people today and in the future.”

Customers are at the core of what we do, and they continue to rank APS among the top utilities for customer satisfaction and reliability. The way customers use energy is changing — from smart thermostats, to plug-in electric vehicles, to rooftop solar — and the way they want to interact with their energy company also is evolving. We strive to provide new resources to help them manage their service, such as an email or text notification to let them know when they’ve hit a usage threshold and an outage map on that provides easy access to restoration updates.

In addition, our industry-leading Supplier Diversity and Development program reached $2 billion spent with diverse businesses from 1992 to 2015 and received the Edison Electric Institute’s Supplier Diversity Award for Innovation.

Building strong communities is important to APS and our employees. Our 2015 investment in the community, including grants, scholarships and in-kind donations from APS and the APS Foundation, totaled more than $10 million. APS employees volunteered 127,000 hours with nonprofits, resulting in an economic impact of $2.9 million.