Focus on Careers in Energy Week
Energy jobs are diverse, rewarding, and well-paying. And yet, there is a shortage of qualified applicants. How can energy companies raise awareness of the career opportunities in this industry? One way is through Careers in Energy Week, which was celebrated this year from October 14-18.
The Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) and member companies began working together to create Careers in Energy Week in 2010. The purpose is to increase the public’s awareness about energy careers through a concerted nationwide effort. This provides an opportunity for energy companies to connect with their local communities by sponsoring special events where schools, families, and other businesses can learn more about how energy companies operate and the importance they have in the local economy.
For Careers in Energy Week 2019, companies and State Energy Workforce Consortia across the country participated in a variety of events, contests, and outreach activities. From Arizona to New Hampshire, students and the general public learned more about how to get into energy! The following articles highlight some of this year’s events by region. Find out what happened near you, and see if other companies’ events can provide inspiration for your activities next year.
Montana and Wyoming
Black Hills Energy, which has service areas in several states including Montana and Wyoming, celebrated Careers in Energy Week by celebrating their current employees. The company website has a dedicated Careers in Energy Week webpage that features stories about employees and their roles in energy. These employees illustrate the broad range of job opportunities in the industry. The profiles include engineers, analysts, lineworkers, and technicians.
These stories were also shared throughout the week on Black Hills Energy’s social media channels, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
As a way to encourage more people to consider energy careers, Black Hills Energy is rewarding employees at a higher amount of incentives for referring people to the company throughout the month of October.
Arizona Energy Workforce Consortium
In Arizona, Southwest Gas shared employee stories both on Instagram and internally throughout the company. Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has two events in late October and early November, including the annual Southern Arizona Construction Career Days on November 6–7. Nearly 4,000 students are expected to attend.
Colorado Energy Workforce Consortium
Xcel Energy Colorado hosted students from local high schools and colleges at their Arvada Service Center to teach them about careers in energy. The students heard from current employees about their career paths, including linemen, gas operations employees, and design and project management employees. The visit also gave students the opportunity to tour the Service Center and participate in a Q&A session.
Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association brought a group of employees to Arvada West High School and did presentations to two energy classes. They also had a group present at Westminster High School for an Energy Systems class.
Black Hills Energy has service areas in Colorado as well. As mentioned in the Northwest Region summary, they shared employee stories on their website and social media accounts, and increased employee incentives for referrals.
The governor of Utah signed a proclamation recognizing Careers in Energy Week.
States and consortia throughout the Midwest embraced Careers in Energy Week this year. More than three dozen events and activities took place.
Dakotas Energy Workforce Consortium
The Dakotas Energy Workforce Consortium (DEWC) secured governor proclamations in both North Dakota and South Dakota. DEWC’s education partners hosted four events across the two states: Nearly 100 5th graders rotated through energy-related work stations at Lake Area Technical Institute; 40 high school juniors and seniors attended an Energy Camp at Mitchell Technical Institute that featured hands-on activities; North Dakota State College of Science had exhibits about careers in energy and campus tours focused on their energy programs; and Bismarck State College hosted an energy program job fair for current students. Montana Dakota Utilities and Great River Energy attended the job fair.
NorthWestern Energy administered a coloring contest for younger students and an essay contest for older students. NorthWestern Energy, Black Hills Energy, Great River Energy, and Missouri River Energy all shared current employee stories on social media and internally.
Illinois Energy Workforce Consortium
The Illinois Energy Workforce Consortium (IEWC) is again running a grant contest available to all teachers throughout Illinois. Promotional emails were sent to teachers encouraging them to discuss energy careers with their students and included learning materials to be used in the classroom. Participating teachers could win one of three $250 classroom grants just for using the materials with their students.
Nicor Gas participated in four events throughout the week: Alive Center STEM Exploration Day, Bloom Township High School District 206 College and Career Fair, Museum of Science and Industry Science Works Event, and Northern Illinois University’s STEMfest.
Iowa Energy Workforce Consortium
Alliant Energy hosted a Careers in Energy “Preview Event.” This showcased energy jobs and provided information about apprenticeships.
Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium
The Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium (MEWDC) held 15 events throughout the week, including 10 tours at different energy companies and educational institutions, two career fairs, and three open houses. DTE Energy, Lansing Board of Water and Light, and Consumers Energy were the participating companies. MEWDC also hosted a contest for high school students and shared ideas for classroom activities. The governor of Michigan signed a Careers in Energy Week proclamation as well.
Minnesota Energy Consortium
The governor of Minnesota proclaimed October 14–18, 2019, Careers in Energy Week. In addition, the Minnesota Energy Workforce Consortium held a number of activities. Xcel Energy stationed the Minnesota State Energy Center of Excellence’s Energy Science Trailer on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. Xcel Energy also hosted high school students from the Twin Cities area at their Rice Street Service Center. The students went on a tour and spoke to current employees about careers in energy.
Minnesota West Community College held Energy Career Days at two campus locations. Koda Energy also held a Bioenergy Day. There was an MREA and MMUA Overhead School and Rodeo as well.
Missouri Energy Workforce Consortium
The Missouri Energy Workforce Consortium (MEWC) secured a governor’s proclamation. MEWC added Careers in Energy Week information to their website. Several MEWC members also shared social media posts.
Nebraska Energy Workforce Consortium
The companies comprising the Nebraska Energy Workforce Consortium hosted events throughout the state. Omaha Public Power District, in partnership with other consortium member volunteers, held a two-day Workshop for Get Into Energy. One day was for educators and counselors, and the second day was for middle and high school students.
Nebraska Public Power District hosted a Utility Career Day at its Norfolk Office for approximately 60 students from three different high schools. Black Hills Energy took a unique approach by offering incentives to employees who referred people to “get into energy.”
The governor of Ohio signed a Careers in Energy Week proclamation.
Wisconsin Energy Workforce Consortium
There was a Wisconsin Energy Workforce Consortium Careers in Energy Week event at the Chippewa Valley Technical College Energy Education Center. Some of the energy companies in the state posted profiles of current employees on their social media accounts.
Oklahoma Energy Workforce Consortium
The governor of Oklahoma signed a Careers in Energy Week proclamation. OG&E also ran a week-long social media campaign, posting images and videos of current employees explaining why they got into energy.
Amarillo Technical Training Center invited area high school students to a career exploration event. The students spoke to employees, watched demonstrations, took a tour, and learned about careers in energy. Xcel Energy employees attended the event and spoke to the students about their jobs.
Carolinas Energy Workforce Consortium
The governors of both North Carolina and South Carolina signed proclamations recognizing Careers in Energy Week.
The Carolinas Energy Workforce Consortium (CEWC) celebrated the week by posting on social media with information on careers in energy, articles from Duke Energy’s Illumination, and current employee testimonials. Members of CEWC also participated in a number of events. Pike Enterprises was part of a Lunch & Learn at Nash Community College, Duke Energy attended the Thurgood Marshall Leadership Institute, and the lineworker graduation took place at Horry-Georgetown Technical College.
Florida Energy Workforce Consortium
The Florida Energy Workforce Consortium scheduled four events for Careers in Energy Week. The “Power Your Future: Discover Careers in Energy” event had information about energy degree and training programs, as well as energy company representatives talking about in-demand careers. “Explore the World of Energy” focused on educational programs and career paths. The Careers in Energy Week event at Fort Myers Technical College had local companies, local colleges, and career source representatives present to raise awareness of careers in energy. FPL hosted a Careers in Energy Open House at their Eco Discovery Center. The governor of Florida also signed a proclamation for Careers in Energy Week.
Georgia Energy and Industrial Construction Consortium
The Oglethorpe Family of Companies (Georgia Transmissions) hosted Henry County College and Career Academy students for Careers in Energy Week. Engineering and electrical students toured the Electronics Maintenance Lab and the Fiber and Solar Trailer, and viewed the Control Room. There was also a panel discussion with recent college graduates on careers. Oglethorpe also hosted a Careers in Energy Expo.
Georgia Power employees visited North DeKalb Tech High School’s Career Academy. Georgia Power also participated in the Atlanta Aerotropolis Career Expo. Approximately 350 students from South Fulton and Clayton County schools attended this event.
Virginia Energy Workforce Consortium
The governor of Virginia proclaimed October 14–18, 2019, Careers in Energy Week. Dominion Energy took part in a number of career fairs and recruiting events at Reynolds Community College, the Hampton Get Hired Job Fair, Howard University, the University of Virginia, and the Cedar Street Baptist Church College and Career Fair.
Connecticut Energy Workforce Development Consortium, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire
Eversource Energy has service areas in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Throughout Careers in Energy Week, the company posted on social media with information about careers in energy.
2019 Annual Summit
National Forum for State Energy Workforce Consortia
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