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Energy Utility Technology Training Program

Three Massachusetts community colleges – Middlesex Community College (MCC) of Bedford and Lowell, North Shore Community College (NSCC) of Danvers, Beverly, and Lynn, and Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) of Worcester – will collaborate with National Grid (NG), one of the country’s leading energy delivery and transmission organizations, to develop career ladder certificate and associate degree programs in Energy Utility Technology (EUT). The certificate will prepare people to fill critical entry-level line worker (overhead and underground), meter worker, and substation maintenance worker positions. The certificate leads to an associate degree that prepares students to become Junior Engineer/Operations Design Technicians.     

NG is currently one of the 10 largest utilities in the United States and has the largest electricity transmission and distribution networks in the New England and New York areas. In 2007, NG will become the third largest gas and electricity utility in the United States in the number of customers served with the completion of pending acquisitions of two additional energy utility companies with significant presence in the Northeast. In projections for union and non-union positions through 2014, NG will need to replace, conservatively, 300-400 employees per year, and approximately half of these positions (200 per year) will be in Massachusetts.  

Key project goals are: (1) developing the colleges’ capacity to offer EUT training; and (2) providing the energy utility industry with the capacity to fill critical entry-level and junior engineering positions with trained staff. The first nine months of the three-year project will focus on designing a significant portion of the curricula, outfitting labs to support the curricula, providing professional development to faculty, and initiating a variety of student recruitment activities, including special outreach programs in the schools and internships for high school students to expose them to career and training opportunities. It is anticipated that there will be 36 students enrolled annually in the certificate program and 24 students in the associate degree program. Capstone internships are a key component of both the certificate and degree programs.

Faculty will receive professional development in content areas and new pedagogical strategies that include emphasis on problem-solving, case studies, and authentic assessment. Outcome common measures include an 80% entered employment rate; 80% retention rate through the second and third quarters after the exit quarter; and earning increases for 75% of the participants.

Craft Skills Gap Survey Report Summary

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