JACKSON, Mich., Oct. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — DTE Energy, Consumers Energy, the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) and all members of the Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium (MEWDC) are taking steps to attract the next generation of talent, using Careers in Energy Week, Oct. 15-19, to let Michigan students and adults know about professional opportunities in the energy industry all over the state.

Consumers Energy Logo (PRNewsFoto/Consumers Energy)

In its fifth year, Careers in Energy Week will provide hands-on opportunities for students to learn about career possibilities in a growing industry. More than 108,000 Michigan residents hold energy-related jobs today, and the Michigan Workforce Development Agency estimates energy jobs will grow by 6 percent through 2026.

“Careers in Energy Week puts the spotlight squarely on the exciting opportunities that are available for Michigan’s next generation to continue powering our state,” said Amber Fogarty, energy talent pipeline specialist for Consumers Energy. “We want students to come away from this week’s activities seeing they can have a bright future doing all types of challenging, rewarding work for energy providers.”

“The high demand for skilled trades professionals in Michigan’s energy industry continues,” said Tracy DiSanto, DTE Energy manager, Workforce Planning and Analytics, and co-chair of the Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium (MEWDC). “This week offers students across the state hands-on experiences, giving them the tools they need to understand the many paths to a great career.”

“We’re glad to open our doors to the next generation and show them what a career in the energy industry can look like,” said BWL Executive Director of Human Resources Michael Flowers. “We’re looking ahead to become the utility of the future, and part of that includes attracting the right talent to help us achieve our goal of providing 30 percent clean energy by 2020 and 40 percent by 2030.”

Careers in Energy Week helps feed the talent pipeline for jobs in the growing energy industry. Energy providers have hired over 2,500 new employees into energy careers since January 2017, and up to 1,000 internship and co-op students. 

Among other accomplishments:

  • The MEWDC worked with the state Board of Education to design a “career cluster” in energy that has been implemented through career and technical education centers and six community colleges across the state. Students can study traditional academics while leveraging skills specific to an industry path.
  • The consortium members are creating work-based learning opportunities across the state for high school students such as such as BWL with their 1st S.T.E.P., or School to Training and Employment Program and DTE’s Summer Youth Internship Program
  • Served as a model of the Talent Pipeline Management process with U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, resulting in Consumers Energy developing a statewide Talent Pipeline Management Academy – the first of its kind in the nation – to help Michigan businesses enhance their talent sources and hire better-skilled workers to meet critical short and long-term employment needs.
  • The consortium reached a goal of increasing the number of registered apprentices in energy-related jobs by over 350 with help from a federal ApprenticeshipUSA grant.

During Careers in Energy Week, the MEWDC will launch its first social media contest, “I Got Into Energy,” (#GetIntoEnergyMichigan) for high schoolers. Students will participate in social media activities throughout the week to increase visibility of energy industry careers.

Michigan is bursting at the seams with endless opportunities in the Professional Trades,” said Talent and Economic Development (Ted) Interim Director Jeremy Hendges. “And as Michigan continues to lead the way in revolutionary developments to bring affordable and reliable energy to Michiganders, it’s vital we have people with the Professional Trades skills needed to keep our state moving forward. This consortium and the work we are doing at Ted with the Marshall Plan will be what powers Michigan’s bright future.”

The MEWDC is an industry-led partnership of more than 50 organizations dedicated to addressing current and future workforce issues that are crucial to building and sustaining Michigan’s energy industry. MEWDC recently created Michigan’s 17th career cluster in energy, enabling high schools and community colleges to incorporate energy-related courses in their curriculum. DTE Energy and Consumers Energy support energy education efforts at schools and nonprofit groups through annual Foundation contributions of more than $5.5 million.

For the full list of events taking place for Careers in Energy Week and to access “I Got Into Energy” videos, go to http://consortia.getintoenergy.com/michigan/

About DTE Energy
DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.3 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio includes non-utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading. As one of Michigan’s leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.com, empoweringmichigan.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.

About Consumers Energy
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

About Lansing Board of Water & Light
The Lansing Board of Water & Light is a municipally owned public utility dating back to 1885, when Lansing citizens approved building a water system. Electricity was added to the list of utility services in 1892, steam heat in 1919 and hilled water in 2001. BWL’s mission is to provide safe, reliable and affordable utility products and services to over 97,000 electric and 55,000 water customers throughout the greater Lansing area.

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SOURCE Consumers Energy