From across the country, educators and trainers, trade and industry leaders, public and private administrators, local code officials, advocates and others interested in preparing a quality trained workforce for a clean energy future will gather at the fifth National Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference, November 13-15 in Albany, New York. Why will they travel from more than 30 states to be there?

“New York is a national leader in energy efficiency, renewable energy and support for clean energy businesses, and the National Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference is the foremost event for sharing the most effective clean energy workforce development ideas from across the nation,” said President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Francis J. Murray Jr.  “The development of a skilled clean energy workforce is critical as New York, under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, continues to support and grow innovative companies and jobs in this very important economic sector.”

“As we prepare a quality clean energy workforce, well-trained in a broad range of technologies, we need to come together to learn from the past, share current instructional strategies and best practices, and consider new and thought-provoking next generation technologies and workforce needs,” says Jane Weissman, executive director of The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc (IREC), the conference organizer.  IREC has accelerated the nationwide use of renewable energy for 30 years.

Presenting his unique and hopeful perspective on green technology and its business potential, Alexis Madrigal, respected author and senior editor at the The Atlantic, opens the conference with a look at green technology from a historic perspective, moving on to why stories of the past matter today, and how we can learn from them.

Over three days and more than 65 sessions, the nation’s most innovative clean energy educators will offer the latest information and insight on instructional strategies, curricula development, credentialing and best instructional models underway at community colleges, technical high schools, skill centers, trades and industry training centers across the country.

Last week’s national media attention to a 13.2% rise in the solar employment growth rate over one year earlier was based on a census completed by The Solar Foundation. The full report will be released nationally on Wednesday morning, November 14, and available for the first time at the conference.  A 10:30 a.m. panel will discuss Jobs: The Ultimate 21st Century Currency—differentiating between clean energy job forecasts and job myths.

The conference will be held at the Albany Marriott, 189 Wolf Road, in Albany, NY.


2012 Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference


Other conference highlights include these plenary sessions:

What’s working, what’s not, gaps to close, and directions to take – a plenary session wake-up call with Debra Rowe, Sarah White and Marcy Drummond’s realistic assessment of workforce challenges and strategies. Rowe is president of the U.S. partnership for Education for Sustainable Development, and advisor for the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium. White is a well-published leader on a more coherent green national workforce system. Drummond is a vice president, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, and a leader in developing competency models for a clean-energy vocational workforce.

Looking ahead at nanotechnology innovations, a closing plenary session with Alain Kaloyeros, Ph.D., CEO of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE). The University at Albany-SUNY. The Ualbany CNSE is the first college in the world dedicated to education, research, development and deployment in nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanobioscience and nanoeconomics.

Conference breakout sessions will cover topics such as:

  • Clean Energy Job Forecasts and Myths
  • Strategies for Training
  • Building an Industry Standard
  • The Value of Consortiums and Partnerships
  • Community-Focused Training
  • Workforce for the Smart Grid
  • Policy Impacts on the Workforce
  • Planning for the Future Renewable Energy Market
  • Creating a Benchmark for Quality
  • Building a Green Career Lattice

For details about these and other sessions and presenters, including a list of pre-conference technical workshops, Wednesday, November 13, and to register, go to

NYSERDA is the primary 2012 conference sponsor. IREC is the conference organizer.


The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) is a non-profit organization accelerating the use of renewable energy since 1982. IREC’s programs and policies lead to easier, more affordable connection to the utility grid; fair credit for renewable energy produced; best practices for states, municipalities, utilities and industry; and quality assessment for the growing clean energy workforce through the credentialing of trainers and training programs.