About the Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy

The center provides strategic coordination for the energy industry’s skilled workforce in Washington state and within the Pacific Northwest.

About the Clean Energy Center of Excellence

The center is a statewide resource that represents the interests of the energy industry and our labor partners, within the Washington State Community and Technical Colleges system. We exist to narrow the gap between employers’ demands for a highly skilled workforce and the colleges’ ability to supply work-ready graduates. We convene industry and labor to help drive workforce development initiatives — and coordinate community college resources after industry and labor set the direction.

The energy industry — globally, nationally, and in Washington state — is in the midst of tremendous change. Significant growth in the renewable/clean energy sector has occurred in recent years and forecasts show that this trend will continue. Washington state is on the leading edge of new developments and emerging technologies, and the state is well positioned to accelerate the shift toward a clean energy economy to support state environmental and economic goals. The future growth in clean energy depends on a well-qualified workforce to design, build, operate, and maintain renewable energy plants and equipment.

Centralia College is designated as our home campus, and we work statewide to achieve our purpose.

Solar Institute Educators

Our Vision

Our vision is to be a national model in developing partnerships among business, industry, labor and education — for the purpose of enhancing economic and workforce development initiatives that meet the needs of the clean energy industry.

Our Mission

Our mission is to support the transition to a cleaner energy future through the development of a highly skilled workforce that meets the needs of industry.

Two workers near wind turbines


student using equipment


Person reviews diagrams on computer


About the Centers of Excellence in Washington

In 2004-05, the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges selected ten Washington State Centers of Excellence to serve as economic development drivers for the state’s leading industries.

History of the Clean Energy Center of Excellence

Since our founding in 2004, our impact has grown from 5 to 29 community college energy-sector programs offered throughout the Washington State Community and Technical Colleges system. These programs support the industry’s diverse workforce needs as well as technological advances such as smart grid, solar, energy efficiency, hydro and wind energy technology; as well as emerging technologies including EV transportation, hydrogen, biofuels and fusion – while continuing to support the core curriculum of power generation, transmission and distribution programs.

Graduating students have been placed into high skills, high wage energy industry jobs across the Pacific Northwest region — they are an important component of the state’s strategy of sustaining an innovative and vibrant economy.

History & Archives