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California Energy Jobs Training Plan 2009-2020

California must quickly increase statewide efforts to train people at all levels to plan, administer, and deliver energy efficiency, both in the public and private sectors.

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California Energy Workforce Training

The Energy Workforce Training and Education Vision for 2020 is that California’s workforce is trained and engaged to provide the human capital necessary to achieve California’s economic energy efficiency and demand side management potential.

"California must quickly increase statewide efforts to train people at all levels to plan, administer, and deliver energy efficiency, both in the public and private sectors. This effort will require concerted planning among secondary and post-secondary educational leaders, technical and professional organizations, state agencies, economic and labor development organizations, utilities, and construction and manufacturing businesses that deliver energy efficiency solutions. We expect such an effort will require a wide variety of initiatives and seek multiple funding sources, not just ratepayer funds." 2009 – 2020 California Statewide Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan Workforce Training & Education

California's emphasis on developing a green or renewable energy platform to enhance statewide economic stability and global competitiveness is gearing up. As federal and state programs are considered and legislated, training is required to provide the human power to design, manufacture and install energy upfits and new energy facilities. And training brings the focus back to the individual.

Energy related career paths are identified at the beginning of an educational course. Energy-efficiency specialties for companies are identified through certification programs. And colleges, trainers and public information enterprises help distribute information about these training and management infrastructure opportunities. (Like California Green Solutions's "Green Training Catalog"

Energy Technicians and Contractors Certification

Technicians and contractors have an option to be certified as energy efficient and many take advantage of that certification as there is a broad understanding of energy efficiency including the financial analysis necessary to sell energy efficient projects to customers.

Energy Apprenticeship Programs

Individuals from low-income situations have taken advantage of apprenticeships programs that specialize in energy disciplines and have successfully advanced themselves into rewarding careers in these disciplines.

The Green "GI Bill" has provided veterans with training and education opportunities for energy efficient jobs.

Energy efficiency courses are required for contractor licensing and for the renewal of licensing.

All HVAC technicians and installers are certified as required through the HVAC license element.

All higher education programs offer degreed program tracks that incorporate

  • financing and energy economics,
  • energy management systems and
  • technology awareness for resource management.

Energy Systems Engineering with an emphasis in green building design is a popular major. There are ample internship opportunities for these students.

The UC/CSU Extension program now offers further energy efficiency education and incorporates Building Operator Certification.

Campuses compete statewide for the "green collar school" award. This award earns these institutions free marketing as a green school and funding for green scholarship program which includes outreach to low income and disadvantaged candidates. All higher education programs have energy monitoring systems and appropriate staffing to maintain and analyze data from those systems.

Job Projections for Energy

New positions to satisfy the infrastructure development necessary to meet statewide demand side resource management (DSM) goals and objectives that have been established as a result of the
  • Self-Generation Incentive Program,
  • California Solar Initiative,
  • Demand Response and Energy Efficiency Programs
  • and future statewide DSM programs

All Californian Community Colleges and Adult Education organizations offer certification and degree programs that focus on energy efficiency and demand side management (DSM). The high demand for employees with energy efficiency training will drive enrollment in vocational, adult and technical training courses that incorporate energy management and sustainability. Across all market sectors (Agricultural, Industrial, New Construction, etc.) students are able to develop their career with an energy focus. Community Colleges are crucial to training solar installers, building operators and HVAC technicians. All Californian Community College campuses have energy monitoring systems and appropriate staffing to maintain and analyze data from those systems.

Energy utility providers are required to provide a variety of utility customer training resources,and they seek credit for utility education and training programs that promote or produce energy savings in order to justify expansion of HVAC training for licensed contractors by bona fide training providers and training for HVAC Sales Persons and Building Department personnel.

The utilities have identified a current need for technically trained installers, energy auditors, building energy operators through training. Incorporate energy efficiency into traditional contractor roles such as plumbers and electricians.

They plan a Web Portal to include links to various demand side management (DSM) related training programs will allow for a single point of communication and serve as a repository for all demand side management and energy efficiency training, conferences and career opportunities . This portal will be created and funded in collaboration with other appropriate entities.

More information about the 2009-2020 California Statewide Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan is in a downloadable document

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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