Twenty seven events reached more than 1,650 people throughout the state during October’s Careers in Energy Week.

The Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy/“A Centralia College Partnership” (PNCECE) and the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) led the coordination of statewide events for a national initiative that exposed more than 1,650 people to careers in energy. Washington utilities, businesses and schools hosted events which included dam tours, career fairs, and hands-on activities for high school counselors, technical education instructors, workforce developers, veteran’s representatives, job seekers, parents and students.

“We continue to break our own records in regards to number of events and outreach throughout the state,” Barbara Hins-Turner, PNCECE Executive Director said. “Timing of these events is crucial – jobs are beginning to open and we need a strong workforce to fill them.”

Within our state, 570 students (grades 6 – 20), 30 teachers and counselors, 38 veterans and 835 community members engaged in activities which supported Careers in Energy Week, held Oct. 14 – 19. To kick-start the week, Governor Inslee, Spokane County Commissioners and mayors of Centralia and Spokane signed proclamations to show support.

27 events included:
  • Proclamations were read and discussed during public meetings and aired on local cable/network channels in Spokane and Centralia. (4 meetings)
  • Tacoma Power gave students and faculty introductions to hydropower along with dam tours.
  • Avista Line School/Jack Stewart Training Center in Spokane turned high school instructors, counselors, workforce developers and veterans’ representatives into apprentices for the day.
  • College and Career Fairs were held at Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, and Joint Base Lewis McChord.
  • Mobius Science Center and Avista Utilities in Spokane hosted an evening for educators, veterans’ representatives and workforce developers to meet the professionals.
  • Centralia College hosted an open house for educators; and workshops during Expand Your Horizons. Twenty nine 7th – 9th grade girls learned about potato and lemon batteries, energy conservation, and how to make a throw light.

This was the third year that industry partners hosted events during Careers in Energy Week, sponsored nationally by the Center for Energy Workforce Development. The partners have made Washington the number one state throughout the country in number of events and outreach. Last year, 19 events reached more than 900 people. In 2011, four events reached 451 Washingtonians – which broke records across the country.

Those who partnered with PNCECE and WSLC included Avista, Centralia City Light, Centralia College/TRiO, Columbia Basin College, Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, Girl Scouts Eastern Washington/Northern Idaho, Mobius Science Center, Spokane Area Workforce Development Council, Community Colleges of Spokane, Spokane Veteran’s Taskforce, Tacoma Power, and TransAlta.

Napavine Elementary teacher Kathleen Krouse looks on while TransAlta's Jennifer  Cerney demonstrates how to make a potato battery

Napavine Elementary teacher Kathleen Krouse looks on while TransAlta’s Jennifer Cerney demonstrates how to make a potato battery during Centralia College’s Expand Your Horizons