Bates Technical College President, Dr. Ron Langrell welcomed The 10th Annual Centers of Excellence for Clean Energy and Construction, Best Practices Summit to Bates South Campus in Tacoma, Washington in late May. The topic of Clean Tech: Washington’s WISE Future set the stage for the 2-day event that brought together education, labor and the clean energy and construction industries. The event was hosted by the Centers of Excellence for Clean Energy and Construction with Executive Directors, Barbara Hins-Turner and Shana Peschek.

Brian Young, newly appointed Clean Technology Sector lead with the Washington Department of Commerce presented the keynote on innovations in the Clean Technology industries. Clean Technology is one of seven industries targeted by the Department of Commerce as an economic development driver for the state. This topic is well-supported by Governor Inslee and Executive Order 14-04: Washington Carbon Pollution Reduction and Clean Energy Action.

One of the major highlights of the day was the announcement made by Mary Kaye Bredeson, executive director of the Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing that Washington employers can now be certified as “work ready,” positioning the state to better compete for jobs, business growth and economic development. Washington joins 20 states promoting similar efforts. The certification program uses the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) to demonstrate employee skills.

Pat McCarty, power generation manager, Tacoma Power and Chair of the Center of Excellence for Clean Energy Advisory Board welcomed guests to the second day of the event stating, “The Summit provides a great opportunity for labor, industry and education to network and consider new approaches to meeting workforce challenges.” Matthew Cutts, critical infrastructure program manager with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers moderated a panel that addressed the potential for a Cascadia Earthquake and preparedness techniques.

Kairie Pierce of the Washington State Labor Council, also in attendance said, “The Best Practices Summit is a great opportunity for educators to hear from both business and labor experts in the construction and energy industries. Labor leaders representing workers throughout the state of Washington offer ideas and observations of job growth trends and what kinds of workers should be filling the available job’s pipeline.”

Other speakers and topics included:

  • Virtual Design and Construction – The Future of the Construction Industry with Trevor Lunde, integrated design engineer, GLY
  • WorkReady Washington – Developing skills related to employment in Washington Building WorkReady Communities with the National Career Readiness Certification (NCRC)
  • Technology, Sustainability and Safety with Yancy Wright, CEO, ALTERNAVIDA
  • Social Media Panel with Mary Kaye Bredeson, executive director for the Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing and experts