Joe DiNello, power plant operator, has been working at DTE Energy’s St. Clair Power Plant for the last 14 years. He says he “hit the ground running” after obtaining a certificate through classes offered by DTE, and he hasn’t looked back. 

“I was excited to be working for DTE, and I still love my job to this day,” said Joe. “It’s definitely not a mundane job – there’s always something new.” 

Joe didn’t come to this career path on his own. He has not one, but two brothers-in-law working at DTE, both at the Blue Water Energy Center. Douglas Young, shift supervisor, and Mickey Cort, combined cycle supervisor, each loved their jobs and the process of producing energy. Joe, the youngest of the three, was easily sold. 

Joe, Doug, and Mickey also have a fourth brother in the energy industry – Sam DiNello, executive vice president of Future Energy. Co-founded by Sam in 2011, Future Energy develops smart, sustainable building solutions, including energy efficient lighting and, more recently, electric vehicle charging stations. Future Energy has worked extensively with DTE’s electric vehicle programs. 

“For companies like us, being part of the programs DTE has in place really helps us add more value for our clients,” said Sam. “For example, we are the electric vehicle partner for Henry Ford Health Care; DTE’s programs enable clients like them to take the initiative and partner with us on big lighting or electric vehicle projects.” 

But working with DTE means something more to Sam – it means giving back to his family and being part of a bigger picture.  

“If you think about where utility companies are moving now with electric vehicles, they’re going to be busier than ever,” said Sam. “It’s kind of neat that we’re all connected to DTE – my brother makes the power, and I get to sell equipment that uses the power.” 

For Joe’s part, he’s looking forward to what the future holds for him, DTE, and renewable energy. He believes the shift towards electric vehicles and cleaner energy sources will be a huge opportunity for Future Energy and DTE alike. 

“If the demand for energy is there, it’s going to be strong, and we’re going to need more plants and more jobs to produce that,” said Joe. “I’m looking forward to having more plants to be able to call home.”