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October 18-22, 2021: Careers in Energy Week

WHEREAS, access to affordable, reliable energy is fundamental to the lives of all Michigan residents and crucial to businesses; and,


WHEREAS, Michigan's energy industry currently boasts just under 110,000 jobs; total employment in this field is projected to increase by 2% between 2018 and 2028; this underscores a vital need to increase Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and skilled trades training to increase the number of qualified and diverse Michigan residents ready to fill the growing gap in the workforce pipeline; and,


WHEREAS, Michigan's economy continues to grow and become more competitive, and Michigan energy utilities have collectively hired 2,000 employees since January 2020, mostly during the COVID-19 pandemic; and,


WHEREAS, our energy industry is transforming energy generation to cleaner, greener, and renewable generation technologies and infrastructure as older coal-fired generation facilities are retired over the next 10 years, and energy-efficiency and clean energy sources have become a priority for Michigan residents, businesses, and governments; and,


WHEREAS, the Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium (MEWDC) is a partnership of more than 50 representatives of industry, education, workforce, labor, government, and veterans celebrating 13 years of dedication to identifying and acting on current and future workforce issues crucial to building and sustaining Michigan's energy industry; and,


WHEREAS, the MEWDC has aligned with energy-related associations including the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractor Association, American Petroleum Institute, Michigan Municipal Electric Association, Michigan Energy Co-operative Association, and the Michigan Electric and Gas Association; and,


WHEREAS, MEWDC has worked with the State of Michigan, Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), and demonstrated sector strategy best practices in Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) and served as a catalyst for engaging other industries in TPM; and,


WHEREAS, MEWDC has concluded the Michigan Industry Cluster Approach 2.0 grant, and as a result of the grant efforts, received the Center for Workforce Development 2020 Impact Award for consortia leading in education, career awareness, and partnership building; and,


WHEREAS, MEWDC also received a $1.1 million State Apprenticeship Expansion grant to support the development of 427 Registered Apprenticeships in critical energy sector job roles, to deliver high quality work-based learning with 25 energy sector employers, unions, community colleges, K-12 school districts, and the Michigan Works! Network; and,


WHEREAS, MEWDC collaborated with the Michigan Department of Education to create Michigan's 17th "career cluster," which provides a roadmap for high school, career and technical education, and community college students to pursue jobs in the often less visible energy sector with nearly 1,000 students earning certificates in Energy Industry Fundamentals; and,


WHEREAS, MEWDC members have a year-round presence in schools and on college and university campuses with a focus on hiring Michigan students, in addition to offering over 1,050 industry internship, work-based learning, and co-op opportunities annually for students; and,


WHEREAS, during the week of October 18-22, MEWDC will focus on energy career awareness through virtual tours, virtual energy fairs, and other virtual events to raise awareness about the many benefits of energy careers;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim October 18-22, 2021, as Careers in Energy Week in Michigan.