INDIANAPOLIS – Rewarding and secure careers will open up as large numbers of utilities workers reach retirement age soon. The future is bright for Hoosiers who recognize and prepare for this next wave of “super-jobs” and careers in Indiana’s energy industry.
Current energy industry projections indicate that more than half of today’s skilled workers will retire in the next five to 15 years, creating the largest industry-wide need for trained workers in history. In response to this new wave of opportunities, Ivy Tech Community College and Indiana’s energy companies have partnered with Indiana Department of Workforce Development (Work One) to form the Indiana Energy Consortium (IEC) with the goal to promote career opportunities in the energy industry in Indiana and develop a home-grown, educated and skilled talent pool. Many of these jobs will require certified or degreed training for the various skilled, administrative and management openings.
To support that near-term demand for highly trained and educated workforce, Ivy Tech and the major energy companies have secured federal grants, arranged scholarships and designed accelerated training programs and degrees for students wanting to pursue energy careers.
Initially, Ivy Tech and IEC members obtained a $1 million Department of Labor grant in 2008 to provide scholarships for the Northwest, Central and Southwest Indiana regions of Ivy Tech as part of a pilot program to encourage new students to enter and complete the training. To date, 345 students have enrolled in classes, 89 have completed their training and received certificates or associate degrees and more are needed as current workers start to retire.
“As a state, we are challenged to get more young people to stay in high school and more to consider college and technical careers with math and science requirements,” said Thomas J. Snyder, President of Ivy Tech Community College. “These new openings will offer well-qualified candidates a great future in our state as they apply their Ivy Tech education to valuable services that contribute to the well-being and economic development of Indiana communities they live in. Together, we are changing lives and making Indiana great.”
Consortium members include American Electric Power, Citizens Gas, Duke Energy, Indianapolis Power and Light, Miller Pipeline, NIPSCO a NiSource company, Vectren Corporation, Indiana Energy Association, Indiana Department of Workforce Development (Work One), Vincennes University, and Ivy Tech Community College. For more information, visit www.GetIntoEnergy.com/Indiana
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.