Students energize careers with certifications, degrees, and open job opportunities

Statewide utility companies offer great jobs, good salaries, super benefits and bright futures

INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College continues to celebrate the growth of its energy industry career programs.  996 students have earned credentials including certificates and degrees in this field.

Ivy Tech Community College partnered with Indiana utilities, the Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electrical Cooperatives and other energy-related construction companies and Work One in 2007 to form the Indiana Energy Consortium with the goal to promote career opportunities in the energy industry in Indiana and develop a home-grown, educated and skilled talent pool in response to stem the tide of job vacancies from projected retirements.

Supporting this joint initiative at that time, The U.S. Department of Labor awarded Ivy Tech a $1 million High Growth Job Initiative grant to assist in the implementation of a comprehensive and sustainable strategy for meeting the workforce needs of Indiana’s energy industry. In partnership with Ivy Tech, the consortium developed three energy technology concentrations within Ivy Tech’s Industrial Technology program:

•    Power plant technology
•    Electric line construction
•    Natural gas technology

The energy industry career programs at Ivy Tech offer students options for both a short-term technical certificate in one year and an Associate of Applied Science degree with emphasis in one of the three areas. Students who have earned credits in other Industrial Technology programs at Ivy Tech may apply certain courses toward the energy or technical certificate or the associate degree.
Classes are open for enrollment in 10 regions: Bloomington, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Lafayette, Muncie, Sellersburg, South Bend, Terre Haute, Valparaiso.
The energy industry accounts for four percent of the nation’s gross domestic product and employs more than one million workers nationwide. About 50 percent of the energy workforce is set to retire over the next 10 years, creating a shortage of workers needed to build new infrastructure, install equipment, operate facilities and make repairs to existing systems.

The educational partnership with the Indiana Energy Consortium with its focused technology and utility-specific training will help assure talent pool of workers is available via this statewide effort to sustain this program over the years.

“As a state, we are challenged to get young people to stay in high school and more to consider college and technical careers with math and science requirements,” said Thomas 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 changing Indiana,” noted Snyder.

Utility company careers include opportunities in accounting, marketing and communications, human resources, customer service, economic development to engineering, operations, gas pipeline, power plant and distribution line work. Information technology positions have become essential to implementing smart grid technology as companies prepare for more efficient energy alternatives. These positions include competitive salary ranges, first-rate benefits, job growth, career stability, college reimbursement and opportunities for advancement.

In addition to Ivy Tech, Consortium members include Alcoa Warrick Power Plant; Citizens Energy Group; Duke Energy; Indiana Energy Association; Indiana Department of Workforce Development; Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives; Indiana Michigan Power, a unit of American Electric Power; Indianapolis Power and Light, an AES Company; Ivy Tech Community College; Miller Pipeline; Northern Indiana Public Service Company, a NiSource Company; Vectren Corporation and Work One.

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 communities. In addition, its courses and programs transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.

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