A Monthly Update from the Center for Energy Workforce Development
Issue 9, February 2008

In this issue:     Best Practice Spotlight: MI Students Earn OH Nuclear Technology Degrees at Home
                        Plugged In: Upcoming Events
                        The Power Source: CEWD Podcasts / Student Video Contest

 Workforce Issues

Great Lakes Nuclear Consortium Moving Ahead

Nuclear energy companies, educational institutions and industry partners in the Great Lakes region are forging ahead with plans to form a consortium that will address the region’s nuclear operating and commercial workforce development needs.

“The resurgence of nuclear energy, coupled with an aging nuclear workforce, will require highly skilled, educated individuals who are ready to design, build and maintain a dependable infrastructure to support our future energy needs,” said Dan Cullition, consortium member and Human Resources Fleet Manager for FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company.

The group held its third meeting on January 29 at DTE Energy’s Fermi II Training Center in Newport, Michigan.

“At the last meeting, discussions continued around further refinement of the consortium structure and development of short- and long-term objectives, so that the consortium can clearly focus on what members would like to accomplish,” said Mary Anne Casha, Human Resources Manager for DTE Energy’s Fermi II Nuclear Station and a member of the group.

The consortium has already begun work on one objective: The establishment of an industry standard curriculum that can effectively address the core competencies and educational outcomes necessary to produce a highly skilled and competent workforce.

In addition to FirstEnergy and DTE Energy, the consortium includes members from Central State University, Constellation Energy, Exelon, INPO, Lakeland Community College, the Michigan Department of Labor, Monroe County Community College, the Nuclear Energy Institute, Terra Community College, Westinghouse, WSDC, Inc., Xcel Energy, and the Center for Energy Workforce Development.

The consortium will continue its work at its next meeting at Lakeland Community College in mid-March.

 Best Practices Spotlight

Michigan Students Earn Ohio Nuclear Technology Degrees – at Home

What do you do when some of the coursework you need to get the job you want – along with the actual degree – is offered by another school, in another state?

A decade ago, you would have had to change schools. Today, thanks to a little regional cooperation and the power of new technology, all you need is something called “distance learning.”

Starting last month, students at Monroe County Community College (MCCC) in Michigan could begin earning an associate degree in nuclear engineering technology, a program actually offered by Lakeland Community College of Ohio.

All coursework for the degree is done at MCCC. The first 48 credit hours are done through the Michigan program, with the remaining 24 credit hours taken via an interactive Video Over IP system on the MCCC campus, using Lakeland instructors. The video system is supplemented by a web-based learning system, and is paid for with the support of a $35,500 grant from the DTE Energy Foundation.

“This innovative educational collaboration was spurred by the nuclear energy industry’s need for a highly educated workforce, combined with a projected shortage of nuclear professionals,” said MCCC President Dr. David E. Nixon.

“We’re starting to build a local pipeline of qualified workers in anticipation of our future hiring needs,” said Mary Anne Casha, DTE Energy’s Human Resources Manager supporting the Fermi Nuclear Power Plant in Newport, Michigan. Students who participate in the program can earn their field experience at the Fermi plant, through DTE’s internship program, she added.

“This collaboration between colleges and program design could be a model for other community colleges to adopt,” Casha said.

Now in its first semester, the program currently includes 19 students who will take classes in electronics, math, chemistry, thermo-fluid sciences, physics, English and other general education subjects. The curriculum will prepare them to work as technicians in operations, mechanical maintenance, chemical laboratory, health physics and instrument control. It will also prepare them for employment as maintenance technicians in any manufacturing or production facility.

For additional information about the program, please contact Mark Hall, Director of Admissions and Guidance Services at MCCC, at 734-384-4207.

 Plugged In

Upcoming Events

March 19-20, 2008 West Region Meeting, hosted by Pacific Gas & Electric in San Francisco, CA. The meeting will be held at Treasure Island in San Francisco. For more information, go to CEWD West Region Meeting.
March 31 - April 1, 2008 Southeast Regional Meeting, hosted by JEA in Jacksonville, Florida. For more information, go to CEWD SE Region Meeting.
June 16 – 18, 2008 The 6th Annual Career Clusters Institute, at the Marriott Atlanta Marquis, Atlanta, GA. For more information, go to www.careerclusters.org.

 The Power Source

Student Video Contest to Cast Energy Careers in New Light

CEWD has partnered with SkillsUSA and SchoolTube to encourage students with an interest in filmmaking and energy to showcase their talents through a video-making contest being launched this month.

The SkillsUSA/Get Into Energy Careers in Energy Video Contest asks high school students who are registered members of SkillsUSA to create original and compelling videos about the important work being done at electric, gas and nuclear energy companies in their area. Students are encouraged to work closely with their local energy companies in creating these “behind-the-scenes” videos of energy “heroes.” The videos should focus on how energy workers make a difference in the world: Though seemingly “invisible,” these men and women make all things possible, whether it be life-saving medical technology, the lighting at sports arenas or the power to boost rock stars’ electric guitars.

The videos may be produced by individual students, a team of students or an entire class. The winning school will receive a $1,000 award, and up to three honorable mention awards of $300 each will be awarded.

Entries will be uploaded and aired on SchoolTube (www.schooltube.com), the only Internet video publisher for teachers and students that combines dynamic curriculum and community outreach programs. Entries must be submitted by June 1, 2008.

For more information about this contest, please visit School Tube Energy Film contest. To find out about the SkillsUSA contact in your area, contact Chris Powell at cpowell@skillusa.org.

Get Into Energy Podcasts Are Here!

Don’t be shy...you can ask us: What the heck is a podcast?

It’s a combination of the words “ipod” (Ok, you’ve heard of those, right? They’re the Walkmen of the 21st century) and “broadcast.” In other words, something you can watch on your ipod, because unlike those ancient musical devices of yore, the ipod allows you to watch as well as listen.

Don’t worry, these podcasts are largely designed for people who know just what to do with them: Teenagers. That’s right, CEWD has found a new way to reach out to our next generation of energy workers, by going straight to the media they use the most. Ipods are everywhere. Aside from the cell phone, it’s probably the digital device most commonly found on the person of humans under the age of 30.

So now all those lively, informative Get Into Energy videos that detail career opportunities in the energy industry can be downloaded as “podcasts” and viewed on the go. What’s more, they can be transferred to laptops, and used to make Power Point presentations.

Podcasts…bringing us one step closer to tomorrow’s energy workforce.

To view the Get Into Energy podcasts, go to the "Career Profile" link under the "Video" tab at www.getintoenergy.com.

 Get Into Energy Information

Get Into Energy is a monthly e-mail newsletter for CEWD members. To sign-up to receive this newsletter, please use this Newsletter Sign-up Form. To change your e-mail address for this newsletter or to unsubscribe, contact staff@cewd.org. For information on membership, please contact us at staff@cewd.org. Visit CEWD on the web at www.cewd.org.

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