Local College Considering Program to Bridge the Energy Education Gap

March 17, 2011

Career, Industry News

I feel very strongly about the need of qualified professionals in the energy management, utility, and energy efficiency industries. These industries are booming currently and expected only to grow more and more in the coming decades. But we just don’t have enough qualified candidates to fill the demand.

This is primarily because it’s a new-ish hot industry and the educational system has yet to develop comprehensive academic programs to adequately train people wanting in on this little slice of green-collar heaven.

But Lansing Community College (LCC) is looking at the feasibility of putting a dent in the academic gap. I could not be more elated right now. LCC is considering the addition of a Utility and Energy Services program to add to their already fairly diverse energy related portfolio. They’re looking to develop courses and cirricula to cover transmission and distribution systems, power generation, smart grid integration, and instrumentation and controls engineering.

With this type of curricula available, it would really provide the student population with an amazing opportunity to find educational resources in cutting edge, emerging job markets. With this hyperopic intuition, LCC is positioning themselves at the forefront of technical career training for the anticipated flourishing of a huge job market.

But it hasn’t happened just yet… they need to hear from more people about how useful and brilliant this idea is.

Please visit LCC’s Program Analysis page and click the email link at the bottom to provide them with your opinion. If you don’t, I will be sad… and you wouldn’t want Madam Energy to be sad now would you?

My sad face is pitiful.. please?

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4 Comments on “Local College Considering Program to Bridge the Energy Education Gap”

  1. Ben Says:

    You’ve mentioned “qualified” candidates a lot. Is there a certification necessary to get involved in the energy efficiency industry or what is there some other required training such as a degree or an apprenticeship?

    Reply

    • Madam Energy Says:

      It’s not quite that clear cut. Typically, people coming into this business have a kind-of half-way related background – demolition project management, lighting sales, automotive engineers, HVAC sales, architecture, etc. And while they have familiarity with building systems, they lack the education and/or experience with what this industry is all about. It’s kind of like they have just one tiny slice of the pie.

      Energy generation, demand-side management, energy efficiency across the board (rather than just lighting or just HVAC), how to sell energy efficiency, and the ins and outs of what’s happening in the industry as a whole are just as important as understanding building systems – and often times harder to train on.

      Check out my posts that quote a hiring manager and a recruiter in the field for more on this. Note: I can’t get the html to work for the links – but both posts are titled “Energy Job Seekers” at the beginning.

      Degrees in energy management and energy systems, the CEM certification (Certified Energy Manager), LEED certification, BPI or RESNET certifications, and a slew of certs from Association of Energy Engineers etc are all highly desired in this field.

      Reply

  2. Mark W. Says:

    I think it’s the public and specifically high school students that need to be made aware of the opportunities in the EE and related fields. High school teachers and guidance counselors could make a big impact since higher education schools such as LCC need to hear it from applicants in this age group. Maybe a few field trips or talks from energy professionals to high school students is what’s needed.
    Was the sad face lit by candle? 🙂

    Reply

    • Madam Energy Says:

      I totally agree! And that’s one of my long-term missions – to increase awareness of the huge market demand in these fields both at the high school and community college level. I’m starting with CC level because there has to be a good program to get into before we start leading high schoolers into the light.

      The sad face is to encourage people to provide feedback… because if the program doesn’t come to fruition, I’ll be sad. 😛 It was actually a picture snapped by a bon fire, haha. It was the only one I could find with a sad face since I’m almost always a smiley gal! 🙂

      Reply

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