Published Oct. 2013
By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business
The Tri-Cities Research District and Columbia Basin College are sponsoring a half-day seminar to discuss the future workforce needs of the clean energy industry on Oct. 17 at CBC.
Diahann Howard, of the Tri-Cities Research District and the Port of Benton, said the event is being produced in an effort to educate legislators, industry leaders, the public and educators about the clean energy industry efforts in the area and what it will mean for the future — including the types of jobs it will create and the training workers will need.
The event will feature a panel of speakers who will discuss what is needed in the industry and higher education to prepare workers for those jobs.
The speakers will include Mike Lawrence, of the Mid-Columbia Energy Initiative; Peter Christensen, technology commercialization manager at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Keith Thomsen, assistant director of the Washington State University Tri-Cities’ Bioproducts, Sciences & Engineering Laboratory.
In addition, Barbara Hins-Turner, of the Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy will give the results of a new survey, “Workforce Challenges of Electric Power Employers in the Pacific Northwest.”
The purpose of the study was to understand the employment and workforce education needs of electric power employers in the Pacific Northwest region, while also noting some of the shifts that have occurred since completion of an earlier report produced in 2008, just before the recession.
The results identify important findings that have implications for regional, state and local economic and workforce development policymakers, energy employers, and workforce education and training providers.
The event will also include displays by attendees, networking and open discussion with legislators.
The event will be from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Gjerde Center at Columbia Basin College. It is free and lunch is provided for those who RSVP at www.columbiabasin.edu/cleanenergy.
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