CAEL's regional office in Denver, which facilitates the Energy Providers Coalition for Education (EPCE), was notified that the 'EPCE - Workforce Preparedness for Smart Grid Deployment' proposal was awarded a $2.549 million Department of Energy grant.
"We are pleased to be notified of this grant award by the DOE," said Jo Winger de Rondon, vice president of CAEL. "With this funding, we will co-design new online curriculum to help prepare the vital energy workforce for rapid technological changes coming to the industry," she continued. "Leveraging the historical success of the national EPCE Coalition provides a 'shovel-ready' infrastructure to quickly deliver the new online curriculum." The key project objectives include:
Providing critical workforce preparedness training for thousands of current and future employees of several electric power entities currently engaged in deploying Smart Grid technologies:
Developing new modular smart grid curriculum with EPCE's founding education partner, Bismarck State College (BSC), through their National Energy Center of Excellence to be delivered as three online courses
Creating a new energy certificate and degree program through a partnership between BSC and Connecticut College of Technology that combines energy education delivered online and technical and general education delivered locally.
Developing a career pathway and online energy education for high-school students in partnership with Virtual High School Global Consortium.
In April, the Department of Energy announced initial selections for various smart grid workforce training programs to help prepare the next generation of workers in the utility and electrical manufacturing industries. The Department of Energy announcement can be seen at www.energy.gov/news/8842.htm.
The Energy Providers Coalition for Education (www.epceonline.org) is a national alliance delivering solutions to attract and engage the energy industry's workforce through quality online education. These programs offer interested candidates and incumbent workers technical skills as well as academic knowledge needed for industry career paths in electric utilities, nuclear power, and gas distribution. EPCE members, representing over two-thirds of the industry, champion industry needs in their joint efforts to develop and sponsor online curriculum with qualified accredited high schools, colleges, and universities.
The EPCE program is a signature initiative of CAEL, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (www.cael.org), an international non-profit organization with more than 35 years experience in creating and managing effective learning strategies for working adults through partnerships with employers, higher education, the public sector, and labor. CAEL is headquartered in Chicago and has regional offices in Denver and Philadelphia.