Energy Gives Back: STEM in the Community
From middle school all the way through college, energy companies across the country are implementing important programs that help kids develop critical science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills for their educational development and preparation for future careers. STEM positions are much harder to fill compared to positions in other fields due to a shortage of workers with the specialized skills needed for STEM jobs. In fact, there are approximately 40,000 college graduates with degrees in computer science, but more than 4 million computer science job vacancies.
Stimulating an Interest in STEM Education
America’s electric power industry needs STEM-skilled workers. Therefore, companies are reaching out to their local communities, providing high-quality education and workforce training programs. These STEM initiatives are designed to engage younger generations in this innovative field in order to fill well-paying energy job openings.
Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA’s) CADNet program teaches and trains local high schoolers in computer-aided drafting (CAD). This highly specialized skill is valuable and useful for a career in structural and electrical engineering. Training high schoolers to become proficient in CAD can inspire them to pursue a job and be even more competitive in the engineering field.
Preparing the Next Generation
While inspiring students in STEM careers before college is an important step to preparing the next energy workforce, ensuring they have the connections and proper industry exposure during their degree-earning time is critical as well. Energy company Pepco is reaching out to undergraduate and graduate students, offering them real-life, on-the-job experiences. Pepco’s internship program gives these future engineers important training. Students learn about smart energy infrastructure, like the energy grid, participate in safety programs, and discover the ins and outs of energy operations.
This program has double the benefits. In addition to equipping students with valuable work experience, making them more competitive applicants after graduation, the program also provides the energy industry with qualified future talent.
Benefiting the Individual, the Industry, and Innovation
With an increasingly competitive job market, a STEM-focused education is the ticket to greater employment opportunities. Energy companies are stepping up and providing the critical training needed to prepare this next generation for rewarding careers in energy.