On November 15, Salt Lake Community College and the Department of Workforce Services (DWS) hosted an open house event at the Miller Campus for the State Energy Sector Partnership (SESP) grant.
The U.S. Department of Labor has funded the SESP grant to provide free training to students and help promote and create jobs in the green energy industry.
“It’s free,” said Rob Luckau, energy career development specialist for DWS. “The grant pays for all of your training, all of your books and all of the industry certifications. That’s the main thing. They (interested students) can call me to get all of the boring criteria stuff.”
According to Utah’s Green Jobs Survey, it’s projected that 1,100 new jobs will be created in the green energy field in 2012. Green energy jobs are defined as production, construction, installation, and transportation of anything that benefits the environment or is environmentally friendly. Some examples of jobs would include a solar panel technician, repair and installation of compressed natural gas (CNG) cars and retrofitting existing homes for green energy upgrades.
“We are offering training with two certificates: Basic Energy Technician and Advanced Energy Technician with a specialty in a particular area,” said Ashley Riggleman, SESP coordinator for SLCC. “The program we offer is a short term intensive training format on a rolling enrollment which means that our classes are short and intense. A typical class is six weeks long, six hours a week, two days a week. Rolling enrollment means that every two to three weeks we have new courses starting.”
Most of the classes are offered in the evening, though daytime and online classes are available as well to accommodate students. During the summer, week-long intensive trainings will be provided. These courses prepare an individual for the national certification test in each of the four green career categories. These categories are Green Construction, Alternative Fuels, Energy Management and Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Transmission. There are a number of core curriculum classes that students must take for basic training and then advanced classes for a particular area of study. These certification tests are paid for through the grant.
The open house was designed for applicants and those interested in green energy jobs to come and meet the coordinators and instructors of the program and ask questions. The instructors gave a brief overview of the classes and what they teach. There will be another open house in early 2012.
Those interested in the program should contact DWS to get approval for the grant. Once registered with DWS there will be an assessment test performed at the Miller Campus and then a follow-up with the SESP coordinator at SLCC to sign up for classes.
“If you want a career in an industry that is only going to grow and become an essential part of our existence here soon, these are the fields to get into,” said Angel Jackson, a student currently enrolled in the SESP program. “It’s a bright future for those of us that want to get into it.”
Jackson recommends this program for anyone who is currently pursuing a career in the energy field.
“We’re all on the Titanic, and we just hit the iceberg. We hit it a little while ago, and the ship is sinking, and we’re all running around on deck screaming,” said Jackson. “Some of us are trying to rearrange chairs so we can have a meeting for what we should do, and then there are those of us that go and build a new ship that’s wind-powered, solar-powered, and geothermal-powered. That ship shows up next to the sinking ship, it’s going to be easy for people to make a choice at that point. So I want to be and if you want to be part of that crew that builds a new ship, this is the field to get into.”
Those who would like more information about the program contact Jeremy (801)957-5345 or Rob (801)957-5264 from DWS to set up an appointment or visit jobs.utah.gov for details.