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Building tomorrow's energy workforce

ATEEC looks to the energy technology industry to guide education and training needs. We gathered a group of business and industry professionals from across the country to meet and discuss jobs available for technicians in the energy field. The resulting report, Defining Energy Technologies and Services, is scheduled for release this summer. It reveals not only the multitude of job opportunities for technicians with two-year degrees, but how rapid changes in technologies and workforce numbers are transforming the field. The report identifies specific energy occupations and accompanying job functions as performance objectives. This 2016 report updates and validates the information from the 2008 report of the same name.

Included are the cross-cutting knowledge and skills that form the basis for many energy jobs. ATEEC recommends that educators and trainers integrate both basic and specialized skills into curricula that meet industry needs. Our group of business and industry professionals stresses the fact that renewable and traditional energy skills have a great deal of crossover, and are often covered in existing curricula for programs such as electro-mechanics, engineering technology, etc.

They emphasize the need for constant update of industry input to the report. As an example, they note that the occupations originally in the 2008 version of the report, then listed as emerging and future jobs, have all been absorbed into the list of mainstream occupations in eight years.

The Defining Energy Technologies and Services report also discusses future issues and trends in the industry, what two-year colleges can do to provide relevant training, and what business and industry can do to help guide and implement the curricula.