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Careers in Energy Week spotlights high-wage, in-demand opportunities supporting Michigan’s clean energy future
October 20, 2023
LANSING, Mich. — To raise awareness of the many high-wage, in-demand opportunities in one of the state’s most rapidly-evolving industries, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) and the Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium celebrated Michigan Careers in Energy Week.
There are currently 118,000 jobs in Michigan’s energy industry, with employment in the sector expected to increase by 7.7% by 2030.
“There are many new and developing career opportunities that support the state’s transformation to cleaner, greener and renewable energy generation technologies,” said LEO Director Susan Corbin. “We are focused on making sure Michigan residents have the skills they need to succeed in these careers and that Michigan businesses have the talent they need to keep our well-earned reputation as the fastest growing clean energy jobs market in the country.”
Now in its 10th year, Careers in Energy Week brings together representatives from industry, education, workforce, labor, government, veterans and others to increase awareness of opportunities in high growth, rewarding careers in the energy industry.
“Energy, quite literally, drives our economy – having access to safe, clean, reliable and affordable energy requires a skilled workforce prepared to develop and build on innovative technologies,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, Director of LEO’s Office of Employment and Training. “In Michigan, our workforce system ensures our education and training partners are aligned with the needs of employers to develop a pipeline of talent with the right skills to deliver results for businesses as well as Michigan workers and their families.”
The Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium (MEWDC) is an industry-led partnership of more than 50 representatives of industry, workforce, education and veterans. LEO has awarded MEWDC more than $1.7 million in competitive grants to integrate additional high-demand occupations into energy education programs through the Talent Pipeline Management methodology and the development of Registered Apprenticeships targeting nearly 1,400 participants, including underrepresented populations, earning energy credentials through 2025.
“It is an exciting time to be in the energy industry, and Consumers Energy is at the forefront with our Clean Energy Transformation,” said Cathy Hendrian, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president of People and Culture. “This means amazing opportunities for people interested in a fulfilling energy career as we focus on increasing our digital adoption and our skilled trades partnerships to make the state of Michigan a better place to be.”
MEWDC was established in 2008 to address current and future workforce issues that are crucial to building and sustaining Michigan’s energy industry. MEWDC member utilities, which includes electric power, generation, transmission, distribution and storage, have hired nearly 2,200 employees since January 2022.
“The energy industry is a dynamic place to be and it’s an especially exciting time at DTE Energy,” says Diane Antishin, DTE’s vice president of Human Resources and chief diversity & inclusion officer. “We look forward to showing students the great variety of in-demand careers in the energy industry, and we hope many of them join us after graduation to serve our customers and communities.”
To help meet growing demand and develop the next generation of Michigan’s energy workers, the MEWDC has launched several career awareness and outreach initiatives, including:
- Integration of high-demand occupations into energy education programs using Talent Pipeline Management and registered apprenticeships targeting nearly 1,400 participants, including underrepresented populations.
- Creation of Michigan’s 17th career cluster which provides guidance for high school, career and technical education, and community college students to pursue jobs in the energy sector, with more than 1,200 students earning certificates in Energy Industry Fundamentals since 2013.
- Continued presence of MEWDC members in schools and on college and university campuses, combined with more than 800 industry internship, work-based learning, and co-op opportunities for students since January 2022.
MEWDC employer members include Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, Enbridge, Lansing Board of Water and Light, Cloverland Electric Cooperative, Elevate Energy, Holland Board of Public Works, Infrasource, ITC Holdings, Kent Power, Lewis Tree Service, Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association, Michigan Municipal Electric Association, Traverse City Light and Power, Walker-Miller Energy Services and Zeeland Board of Public Works.
“This week-long event and other programs throughout the year help spread the word about jobs in our expanding industry,” said David Gard, executive director of the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association. “Many of these jobs are in skilled trades which use building science techniques to save energy and improve structures of all kinds.”
During Careers in Energy Week partners across the state hosted career awareness and exploration events, panel discussions, and job fairs held by MEWDC members to energize students and job seekers. In addition, MEWDC offered teachers and students the opportunity to participate in multiple virtual energy careers presentations to learn about specific energy careers.
To view a full list of Careers in Energy Week events, visit CareersInEnergyMichigan.com.
There are many resources available to support Michiganders who are interested in exploring high-skilled and well-paid career options in the energy industry. This includes the state’s free career exploration tool, Pathfinder (Pathfinder.MiTalent.org). Career seekers can also search for open energy industry jobs on Pure Michigan Talent Connect (MiTalent.org).###