In response to an acute shortage of trained technicians to meet the growth in renewable energy, renewable energy companies have come together to form a renewable training program in Houston that is designed specifically for veterans and others seeking a career in the energy transition.
Clean Energy Services, a provider of O&M services for the renewable energy industry, has partnered with the Texas Workforce Commission Skills Development Fund, Houston Community College, and Renewable Training Academy to develop this training program.
The first training course will begin on March 6 for Clean Energy Services technicians, who will launch careers as builders in high growth areas like renewable energy. To learn more and apply, interested candidates should visit online. Clean Energy Services will be reviewing applications for the initial cohort of the renewable training program through February 24, 2023.
Renewable Training Academy is an organization that will be providing foundational support for training across the renewable industry, beginning with this partnership with Clean Energy Services. Through the Skills Development Fund, other companies can also qualify for up to $2,000 per employee in support from the Texas Development Fund (up to $500,000 per company) to design and deploy their own training curriculums.
Wind 1002: Introduction to Wind Energy will prepare trainees to understand and reduce risks associated with wind turbines. This includes rescue procedures, rigging procedures, electrical safety practices, and CPR training to ensure that employees can safely conduct themselves on job sites as they progress to further on-the-job training.
“This training will provide tools to assist employees to understand and reduce the risk associated with wind turbine safety hazards,” said Jennifer Kellough Holmes, Director of Houston Community College’s Corporate College program. “This important partnership serves to increase the skills of our current workforce and grow the capacity of Houston Community College to develop new and innovative curriculums.”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 44% growth in the number of wind turbine technician jobs between 2021 and 2031, making this one of the fastest growing fields of work in the country, and in 2022 it was the fastest growing job segment in the country. To ensure an adequate labor supply to fill these roles, we need to invest now in training programs to build the skills needed to operate our growing renewable energy generation technologies, including wind, solar, and energy storage. This collaboration will be part of a Department of Labor apprenticeship program supported by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which invests in craft labor training to support the energy transition.
Kevin Doffing, Chief Commercial Officer at Clean Energy Services, chairs the Atlantic Council’s Veterans Advanced Energy Project and considers the veterans community to be an ideal talent pool for these new programs. Over 200,000 military service members enter civilian life each year, often with skills they can readily apply in the renewable energy sector.
“Houston is the Energy Capital of the World, so it’s a natural place to build programs training the next generation of energy professionals,” said Doffing. “Our partnership with Houston Community College and UpSmith will help Clean Energy Services and the Renewable Training Academy to train the workforce we will need as wind energy continues to proliferate across the country.”
“We have conviction that this new partnership over time will create sustainable, high paying jobs that serve one of the country’s fastest growing and most dynamic industries,” said Ahmad Atwan, CEO of Clean Energy Services. “We are excited to build a long term, sustainable renewable energy workforce at CES, and believe Renewable Training Academy is the perfect partner to help us further this mission.”
This partnership with Houston Community College will expand Clean Energy Services’ existing in-house training programs through the Renewable Training Academy focused on achieving wind energy technician certification from the Global Wind Organization, allowing them to widen these training opportunities and ensure best-in-class technical education to prepare workers to excel in this new and growing field.
News item from CES
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