Jam-packed preliminary program for the Workforce Education Conference is released

The organizers of the third national conference on New Ideas in Educating a Workforce in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency are pleased to announce that the preliminary program is now available.

This workforce education conference will take place on November 18-20, 2009 at the Marriott Hotel in Albany, New York. Conference sessions are planned for November 19 and 20. On Wednesday, November 18, six technical workshops will be offered.

With over 60 speakers, this event will offer the most current information on instructional strategies, curricula development, and best practices for training in the renewable energy and energy efficiency fields.

Twenty sessions will cover the latest information on job forecasts and labor profiles, state and federal workforce initiatives, career pathways, training partnerships, model curriculum, standards, and new approaches to training in this rapidly emerging green economy.

“Challenges present opportunities,” said Francis J. Murray, Jr., President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). “It would be unwise to underestimate the importance of the major energy challenges of today, but NYSERDA is prepared to meet them. Governor Paterson’s goal of ’45 by 15’ is an exciting challenge and will require our dedication to contribute to its success. A well trained workforce is key, and NYSERDA looks forward to participating in the programs that will help create the green collar jobs to meet our environmental and energy challenges.”

Speakers from all corners of the United States will be representing community colleges, training organizations, skill centers, workforce development programs, technical high schools, state and federal government agencies, industry and credentialing bodies.

“These two days will be packed with an incredible in-depth look at all aspects of developing a strong and well-trained workforce. We expect a full house since this is the one national event that brings training leaders together,” said Jane Weissman of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc., the primary conference organizer.

Looking at job forecasts and labor profiles, Dr. Robert Margolis from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will be joined by John Carrese from the San Francisco Bay Region Center of Excellence and Anthony Joseph from the New York State Department of Labor discussing workforce needs and labor market characteristics. Brian Hurd from the East Los Angeles Skills Center will be talking about developing effective inner city programs and Suri Duitch from the City University of New York will talk a look at building a green energy training pathway. Leo Bedard from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Tech School Task Force will focus on innovative methods of teaching solar energy and energy efficiency at the technical high school level. In addition to career pathways and developing partnerships, sessions will also cover hands-on training, degree programs and the essential steps for developing training courses.

Plenary speakers include Mary Spilde, President, Lane Community College and the incoming Chair of the American Association of Community Colleges, Dan Lance from GE Energy Renewables, and Debra Rowe, Professor of Sustainable Energies at Oakland Community College and President, US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development.

The conference will be preceded by one day of technical workshops which will cover distributed power systems, energy efficiency in commercial buildings, photovoltaics, solar hot water, small wind, and geothermal.

View the preliminary program and register.

The conference’s primary sponsor is the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The event is organized by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. along with the Partnership for Environmental Technology Education, Hudson Valley Community College, and Lane Community College.

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