Energy workforce group to launch new outreach campaign

DETROIT—Officials at the Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium (MEWDC), a coalition of energy companies and educators, announced today it will launch an outreach initiative that aims to heighten awareness of good-paying, rewarding careers in the energy sector during Careers in Energy Week, Oct. 19-23.

In addition to increasing visibility of careers in energy, the MEWDC will also set out to match job seekers with positions that suit their strengths and passions through this initiative.

The Careers in Energy Week theme is “Get into Energy.” During this five-day campaign, Michigan schools and energy companies will host online tours, panel discussions and career fairs to energize students and people looking for work and/or a rewarding career change. The MEWDC will also host two contests for high schoolers to further increase awareness of careers in the energy sector, which is evolving faster than ever.

“While the energy sector is critical to our state’s infrastructure, it also provides significant career opportunities for residents throughout Michigan,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, director of the Office of Employment and Training at the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “Supporting initiatives such as Careers in Energy Week spotlights in-demand, high-wage jobs, and it helps us in our mission to close the skills gap that challenges the success of Michigan businesses and our state’s prosperity.”

Now in its seventh year, Careers in Energy Week is sponsored by the MEWDC, which includes Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, the Lansing Board of Water & Light, the Michigan Municipal Electric Association, the Michigan Electric and Gas Association (MEGA), and more than 50 industry, workforce and education partners.

The energy sector currently employs more than 147,000 Michigan residents and is expected to grow 8% in the Great Lakes State through 2028.

“At DTE, our aspiration is to be a force for growth in the communities where we live and serve,” said Tracy DiSanto, manager, workforce planning, development and compliance, DTE; and co-chair, MEWDC. “That’s why we’ve made significant, aggressive moves to shift programming online to continue to offer rewarding opportunities and keep everyone safe, healthy and engaged during the pandemic. I want students and job seekers to know we’re hiring motivated, service-driven professionals for meaningful and rewarding careers at DTE.”

“Consumers Energy is excited to connect virtually with students during Careers in Energy Week and provide a hands-on look at opportunities in our industry,” said Cathy Hendrian, senior vice president of People and Culture for Consumers Energy. “We are working every day to promote STEM learning, robotics and skilled trades, and want to inspire the next generation of students to pursue careers that will shape and nourish our state’s economy.”

Founded in 2008, MEWDC’s career awareness and outreach initiatives aim to develop the next generation of Michigan energy workers. These initiatives include:

  • Partnering with school districts and community colleges across the state to implement energy curriculum leveraging Perkins Funds available after the 17th “career cluster” in energy was approved by the Michigan State Board of Education in 2016. More than 600 students have earned national certificates of Energy Industry Fundamentals.
  • Sustaining membership of more than 50 industry, education and government organizations.
  • Collectively hiring more than 3,200 new employees into energy careers since the beginning of 2019.

In addition, consortium members Consumers Energy and DTE Energy have:

  • Provided nearly $25.8 million in COVID-19 relief through their foundations to help customers struggling during the pandemic by providing support that addresses basic human needs, supporting COVID testing, helping small businesses reopen safely and matching employee donations to nonprofits statewide.
  • Maintained gold-level veteran-friendly employer status from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, signifying a commitment to recruiting and retaining employees who are military veterans.
  • Contributed significant financial and volunteer support to the state and national FIRST Robotics movement, emphasizing the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations for both elementary and secondary students.

Visit www.careersinenergymichigan.com for a full list of events during Careers in Energy Week – and for a complete lineup of MEWDC partners.

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