IREC’s Todd Venetz– A Veteran of the Iraq War — helps bridge quality training and jobs

Todd is IREC’s field coordinator for NYSERDA’s Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Advanced Energy Technologies Workforce Development Program. He works primarily with NYSERDA’s 76 workforce development training providers, reviewing and reporting information to identify program needs and new training opportunities that will match skills with today’s and tomorrow’s clean energy jobs. He is also a 10-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

Through site visits to each college, university or certificate-awarding training program accredited by NYSERDA, Todd is contributing to an understanding of the gaps that exist in quality clean energy training in the state as well as the building of a readied workforce.

Through the GI Bill, Todd earned a degree in Energy and Sustainability Policy from Penn State University. That education has proved to be invaluable, in combination with his experience as a platoon sergeant, where he had to effectively communicate with all types of people. “Today, I might meet with a dean of engineering in the morning and a room full of students in the afternoon,” says Todd.

“As New York mandates increase demand, renewable capacity and job opportunities, veterans are in the best position to benefit,” Todd says, “particularly veterans who are trained plumbers or electricians, who can add clean energy as a stackable skill.”

By going through training programs that are funded in part by NYSERDA, veterans can become certified in a particular area of renewable energy or energy efficiency, he explains. “There’s minimum investment with a huge return.”

IREC sees that as a win/win for everyone — a chance to help our veterans, providing quality training that results in employment, and building a workforce skilled to meet our future clean energy needs.

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