A new curriculum with a focus on careers in the energy sector will now be available to high school and community college students across the state.
Detroit DTE Energy, Jackson-based Consumer’s Energy, and the State of Michigan, all members of the Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium, collaborated to create the new career offering. The program was approved by the Michigan Department of Education approved the program last month.
“We all expect the light switch in our homes to go on whenever we choose, but many young people don't know what goes into making that happen every day,” says Tracy DiSanto, manager of workforce planning and development at DTE Energy and co-chair of the consortium. “The adoption of this new pathway will make careers in energy visible to many students who are unaware of the robust opportunities the energy sector can offer.”
DiSanto says Michigan is the sixth state in the nation to adopt energy as a career pathway, joining Florida, Georgia, California, Indiana, and Virginia.
“The addition of this new career pathway will draw attention to the opportunities many students may not have considered as career choices, while closing the skills gap to better prepare high school students interested in pursuing a career within the utility industry,” says Stacy Mowrer, director of learning and development at Consumer’s Energy and co-chair of the association.
Mowrer says about 50 percent of Michigan’s current energy workforce is set to retire by 2020.
IN OTHER ENERGY NEWS, DTE Gas will invest $1.4 billion in its Michigan natural gas pipeline infrastructure over the next five years to maintain the safety and reliability of its natural gas system.
DTE will modernize its cast iron and steel main pipelines with newer, more durable material, and new service lines to homes and businesses also will be installed. DTE this year is on track to replace more than 100 miles of gas main lines, an increase from 2015, when the company replaced 80 miles of gas main lines.