As American society shifts to more sustainable energy and environmental practices in households, businesses, and government, our society is challenged to find employees with the required new skill sets and expertise. Energy management plays an integral role in this shift as our society must decrease energy waste while shifting to cleaner energy sources. Industry and education must adapt quickly to address these changes. Edmonds Community College, Cascadia Community College, the Centralia College Center of Excellence for Energy Technology, and Washington State University's Extension Energy Program are working with industry and labor representatives in Washington State to increase the number of energy management technician professionals with the education and skills necessary to meet the current and projected workforce demands in Washington State. This project is establishing and disseminating standards-based training options specific to energy efficiency-related industries in order to provide market responsive education for those taking on new responsibilities in energy efficiency and those seeking entry in energy management occupations. Specifically, the team is a) updating standards and core competencies for energy management curriculum; b) developing and/or enhancing curriculum for degrees and certificates in energy management; c) establishing a sustained network of educators for clean-energy programs; d) providing educational and employment resources and training opportunities in energy management to educators in Washington State, and e) creating and supporting multiple-entry career paths for students at various entrance and advancement points.
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