Out of the $4.5 billion allocated for the Smart Grid in the Recovery Act, $100 million was designated for workforce training. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a Funding Opportunity Announcement for workforce training in September 2009 and announced its selection of 52 Smart Grid workforce training programs in April 2010. Located in 32 states and the District of Columbia, the training programs also draw on more than $95 million in funding from community colleges, universities, utilities, and manufacturers. The programs will train approximately 30,000 U.S. workers in smart grid technologies.
Projects under this program facilitate the development of a trained and skilled workforce capable of implementing a national clean-energy smart grid and providing for the next generation of skilled technicians, engineers and managers for the electric power industry. The program also raises awareness and interest in careers in the electric power industry, helping to address predicted labor shortfalls as an aging utility workforce moves toward retirement. The workforce training projects address three subject areas:
Developing and Enhancing Workforce Training Programs for the Electric Power Sector
Developing and Enhancing Workforce Training Programs for the Electric Power Sector provides new strategies and programs for the industry with a focus on smart grid technologies. Training programs address the entire electricity delivery system, including transmission, distribution, and electrical equipment manufacturing.
Strategic Training and Education in Power Systems
Strategic Training and Education in Power Systems (STEPS) supports colleges and universities in developing new curricula to address building, operating, and maintaining a modern electricity system, integrating renewable energy sources, and addressing environmental concerns including carbon management. Courses will target power electronics, information and communications technologies, policy, and economics.
Smart Grid Workforce Training
Smart Grid Workforce Training projects target power sector personnel directly related to a national smart grid. These projects increase the workforce capacity and capability of electric power companies and smart grid technology manufacturers, and address skills shortages in a variety of power sector disciplines.
Learn more about Workforce Training for the Electric Power Sector: