UPDATE: Utilities Pipeline Development for Advanced Technological Education
The Utilities Pipeline Development for Advanced Technological Education (UPDATE) project at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College addresses critical issues in the advancement of educational materials to support the evolving energy utilities industry. As the electrical power Smart Grid is being developed in all parts of the nation, the educational and professional development products from the UPDATE project have the potential to benefit both employers and technicians in the energy utility industry. Supporting the development of the Smart Grid contributes to enduring, reliable delivery of electrical power, which is vital to economic health and national security. Project outcomes include developing pathways both for new entrants into the energy utilities workforce and for incumbent workers in need of currency in Smart Grid technology.
Smart Grid technology is changing the methods and the infrastructure used for the delivery of power on the nation's electrical grid. The UPDATE project supports the establishment of a more highly skilled and adaptable energy utilities workforce. This is being accomplished by producing educational materials for utilities technician education that are enhanced with competencies for Smart Grid technology. Additionally, the UPDATE project is: 1. providing professional development opportunities for two-year college educators in the energy and utilities fields; 2. establishing outreach programs to inform middle and high school students and their teachers and counselors about careers as utilities technicians; and 3. developing standard credentials for Smart Grid technician education at the certificate and associate degree level. The UPDATE project team is working with experts from the Electrical Power Research Institute to validate the new curricular materials, identify core competencies related to Smart Grid technician education and explore industry recognized credentials for Smart Grid technicians.