If you’re interested in pursuing an energy industry career, you might look into getting a National Career Readiness Certificate. This skills credential tells utility industry employers that you've got the essential skills to succeed in the energy workplace
The new skills certification program was made possible by uniting the efforts of American College Testing (ACT) and the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD). The program was created using input from businesses that will need new employees. Businesses like Pelton, Northeast Utilities, Aegis Energy Services, Tuscany Design Build/Tuscany Solar, Victory Energy Solutions—all provided guest speakers to the program to outline the jobs that would be available and the credentials applicants would need. Community colleges and organized labor also contributed to the program by indicating where the jobs are and what applicants would need to prepare for them.
A recent a study of energy-sector employers’ workforce needs revealed that employers were having problems finding workers with strong foundational skills—like math, communication, and teamwork. This course was designed to build up those skills in energy job seekers.
The six-week course combines traditional classroom instruction with self-paced online education. Areas covered include introductory algebra, scientific notation, fundamentals of geometry and trigonometry, critical thinking, applied technology, and locating and reading for information. All topics are centered around energy-related work.
CEWD is a nonprofit consortium of electric, natural gas, and nuclear utilities and their associations: Edison Electric Institute, American Gas Association, Nuclear Energy Institute, and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. As many as 75 percent of the nation’s electric and natural gas utility employees are CEWD members. The consortium was created to help utilities meet the demands of the impending workforce shortage in the utility industry.
A recent CEWD survey noted that almost half of the engineers and skilled technicians in the industry would need to be replaced by 2015 owing to potential retirement or attrition. Responding to that need, the CEWD skills certification system creates a Pathways Model for entry into skilled energy industry jobs. ACT will add its years of research data and expertise to help CEWD achieve this important goal.
ACT’s National Career Readiness Certificate will establish a yardstick for assessing workers’ foundational skills. Energy employers can now rest assured that individuals who earn a National Career Readiness Certificate will have the core foundational and learning skills needed to launch a successful career in the utilities industry.
CEWD’s goal is to move potential candidates from training to entry-level positions as quickly as possible. The organization recently received a $1.37 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to prepare low-income adults, ages 16 to 26, in eight states, for energy industry careers.
So, as with any other career, preparation through knowledge and the acquisition of specific skill sets is key to success. Getting a National Career Readiness Certificate is a great place to start.