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October 16-20, 2023: 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 more than 118,000 jobs with total employment in the field projected to increase by 7.7% between 2020 and 2030, underscoring the vital need to increase the number of adults with a skill certificate or college degree to 60% by 2030 to meet the growing demand for high-skilled, high-demand talent in this industry and beyond; 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 energy industry has been a priority focus for the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), which has aligned its efforts to champion a demand-driven workforce system through its support of several key sector groups including Advancing Women in Energy, the American Association of Blacks in Energy Michigan Chapter, the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association, the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, and the Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium (MEWDC); and,

WHEREAS, 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; and,

WHEREAS, MEWDC is a partnership of more than 50 representatives of industry, education, workforce, labor, government, and veterans celebrating 15 years of dedication to identifying and acting on current and future workforce issues that are crucial to building and sustaining Michigan’s energy industry; and,

WHEREAS, the energy jobs represented by MEWDC member utilities including electric power generation, transmission, distribution and storage, and energy efficiency have collectively hired nearly 2,200 employees since January 2022; and

WHEREAS, the MEWDC has aligned with energy-related associations including the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractor Association, Michigan Municipal Electric Association, and Michigan Energy Co-operative Association; 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 more than 1,200 students earning certificates in Energy Industry Fundamentals since 2013; 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 800 industry internships, work-based learning, and co-op opportunities for students since January 2022; and,

WHEREAS, during the week of October 16-20, MEWDC members will focus on energy career awareness and career exploration through tours, career fairs, school presentations, and more to increase awareness about the many benefits of energy careers;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim October 16-20, 2023 as Careers in Energy Week in Michigan.