Find out how the support received from the WISE grant is making a difference for students, in a series of articles recording the advances, best practices, and program development made possible through the WISE Grant.
Shoreline Community College was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to enhance its Clean Energy Technology (CET) program over the next three years.
The $168,242 grant will assure that the CET program is equipped to ensure students develop a skill set that prepares them for high-skill technology jobs in the field of clean energy. Careers in the green building sector continue to see steady growth, particularly in the Greater Seattle area, which surpasses the nation in energy management and systems technology jobs.
With the National Science Foundation funding, Shoreline Community College will upgrade its Clean Energy Technology curriculum to expedite graduates’ placement into energy design and management jobs. The program will also include long-term project-based learning experiences to give students first-hand experience with authentic research and field activities that they will conduct once they are employed.
Over the past year, the PNCECE Advisory Board, comprised of energy industry and labor leaders along with education partners, thoughtfully considered the issues and challenges facing our Center, our students, Washington’s Community and Technical College system, and the energy industry in the Pacific Northwest.
We engaged with focus groups across Washington State for a candid assessment of our organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges. We heard consistently that it is the strength of our partnership with industry, labor and education that has been the pillar of our success.
Since our founding in 2004, the Center’s impact has grown from five to 20 energy sector programs offered throughout the Washington State community college system. These programs support the industry’s diverse workforce needs and technological advances in niche areas of energy such as smart grid, solar, energy efficiency, hydro and wind energy technology, while continuing to support the core curriculum of power generation, transmission and distribution programs.
Read the full PNCECE Strategic Plan 2017-2020.
The American Jobs Project seeks to provide a research-driven guide for state and local leaders who want to ensure quality jobs for Washingtonians.
The Washington Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Grid Modernization was created by the American Jobs Project in partnership with the University of Washington and Western Washington University. Information was obtained from dozens of interviews with government, nonprofit, academic, and business leaders in Washington.
The report summarizes Washington’s competitive advantage in grid modernization. It provides a guide for growing state industry by capitalizing on growing market opportunities and aligning manufacturing with critical economic system components — including access to capital, innovation ecosystems, and workforce development.
According to the report, with the right policies, Washington’s grid modernization industry could employ an average of 13,800 Washingtonians annually over the next 13 years.
The Washington Jobs Project is intended to stimulate discussion of future growth potential and opportunities for barrier removal in the grid modernization industry.
Read the full report:
The Washington Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Grid Modernization
Learn more, including a Policy Bank detailing best practices and innovative ideas for job growth in advanced industries:
American Jobs Project
Energy Department Releases New Data on Energy Workforce Employment
Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) applauded the U.S. Department of Energy’s new report on national energy employment and urged support of energy workforce training programs.
“This report reinforces findings from the Quadrennial Energy Review—we don’t have enough trained workers to fill the 1.5 million new energy jobs by 2030,” Sen. Cantwell said. “We must work to shrink the skills gap and fill the more than 300,000 expected new, good-paying energy jobs in 2017 alone, by investing in workforce training and apprenticeship programs.”
Commissioned by Secretary Ernest Moniz, the Energy Jobs Strategy Council (EJSC) today released the 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, which analyzes current and anticipated energy sector employment needs. The report found that 6.4 million Americans now work in the traditional energy and energy efficiency industries, which added over 300,000 net new jobs in 2016—14 percent of the nation’s job growth. Nationwide, the energy industry is expected to add 198,000 energy efficiency jobs, 78,000 transmission jobs, 76,000 solar and wind jobs, and 81,000 jobs in the motor vehicles sector in 2017.
Washington’s Centers of Excellence for Marine Manufacturing and Clean Energy recently commissioned Alan Hardcastle, PhD, Washington State University Social and Economic Sciences Research Center to research mechatronics current concepts and practices in the marine and energy industries. The report entitled Mechatronics in Washington State: Manufacturing, Energy and Martine Sectors identified a growing number of national and state-level education-industry partnerships that are working to design education and training programs, degrees and certifications that are better attuned to the changing needs of employers for technical employees in modern industrial settings.
Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of engineering with roots in the manufacturing industry that combines mechanical, electronic, computer, software, control and systems design engineering in order to design and manufacture useful products. Factory automation equipment and Industrial robots are typical examples of products that integrate mechanical, electronic and software systems.
The infusion of mechatronics principles and practices in the workplace also has implications for the knowledge, skills and abilities required of employees in most modern industrial settings. The design, installation, maintenance and repair of new, integrated high-tech systems places greater emphasis than in the past on interdisciplinary knowledge and multi-skilling that also cuts across many occupational areas. These transferrable skills are increasingly in demand by employers across many different industry sectors, including energy, marine technology, construction and food processing.
See the full report:
- Mechatronics in Washington State: Manufacturing, Energy, and Marine Sectors, Alan Hardcastle, Ph.D., Washington State University, June 2016
$10-million U.S. Dept. of Labor TAACCCT grant led by state’s top industries
A dynamic consortium guided by three of the state’s leading industries – energy, advanced manufacturing and construction – with support from organized labor, workforce development and eight community and technical colleges, has been awarded nearly $10-million from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) round 4 grant. The project, called Washington Integrated Sector Employment (WISE), has been supported by the three industry sectors since the grant application process began in 2014. Industry representatives from Puget Sound Energy, Avista, CIMTech, McKinstry, Abscher Construction, the City of Seattle, WSU Energy Program, IBEW Local 77, Northwest Laborers Training Trust, Spokane Area Workforce Development Council, and Washington State Labor Council make up the 11-member Executive Leadership Team that will continue to support and guide WISE and its projects to improve Washington’s workforce. The team, chaired by Troy Nutter, Manager of Operational Training at Puget Sound Energy, will serve as a resource for partners to ensure grant goals are achieved. WISE will assist 1,992 adults including dislocated workers, veterans and spouses, women, and minorities. It will prepare participants for employment in entry level, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship occupations within the cluster. It will address the unique needs of unemployed and under-employed workers using innovative and sophisticated strategies – such as navigators, programs to skill-up workers, and enhanced educational programs, to name a few. “The three industry sectors form a cluster which requires common skill sets among the trades,” Barbara Hins-Turner, Executive Director of the Center of Excellence for Clean Energy, said. “The WISE programs will articulate to pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, leadership in the trades and two applied bachelor programs offered within our community and technical college system.”
Keith Gulley, Talent Acquisition Manger, Seattle City Light (SCL) joined the Center’s advisory board in October. Seattle City Light, which is one of the nation’s largest municipally owned utilities, generates 90% of Seattle’s electricity from hydropower and has a workforce of 1,800 employees. Internships/Apprenticeships – another way SCL supports green power. Internship applications are accepted through Feb. 17, 2015. SCL supports part-time year-long and full-time summer internships, which are typically hired in April through June. Positions occur in all departments in Seattle and two generation facilities (Skagit and Boundary hydroelectric projects). Apprenticeships are announced on SCL’s job board. Positions may include cablesplicer, hydroelectric maintenance machinist, electrician constructor, generation electrician constructor, meter electrician, and pre-apprentice lineworker. Pay starts around $21-$28 an hour, depending on the position, and progresses to $24-$43 an hour by the end of training. Pam Grindstaff, Director of Workforce Programs, Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council (PacMtn). PacMtn programs provide information and guidance for those who are looking for work or training and to be successfully employed in “living wage jobs.” PacMtn’s region includes Thurston, Lewis, Mason, Grays Harbor and Pacific counties. Education partner Lauren Hadley, Program Administrator and Project coordinator of BAS-Sustainable Building Science Technology, a 90-credit degree program that offers a pathway to becoming a skilled building science professional, at South Seattle College.
The renewable energy industry globally, nationally, and in Washington State is in the midst of tremendous change. Significant growth in the renewable energy sector has occurred in recent years, and forecasts show that this trend is likely to continue. Forty-eight percent of planned generating capacity additions in Washington through 2011 are renewables.
Washington is on the leading edge of new developments in renewable energy, and the state is well positioned to accelerate the shift toward a clean energy economy to support state environmental and economic goals. But future growth in renewables will also depend on our ability to supply a well-qualified workforce to design, build, operate and maintain renewable energy plants and equipment.