Educating New and Current Workforce to Fulfill Advancing Energy Sector Needs

Posted: Updated:

As entire industries begin moving toward hybrid, electrified, and advanced power sources, a new set of talent and expertise is required in the workforce. In 2018, advanced clean energy jobs outnumbered fossil fuel jobs by four to one in the Midwest. Today, Asia and Europe are ahead of the U.S., as the needs for advanced power and batteries have grown exponentially.

The state of Indiana is now well on its way to leading a new job growth with projects in the electrification of private and public transportation, energy production plants converting from coal to renewables, advanced energy storage (battery) needs growth exponentially in the connected Internet of Things (IoT), and the ramp up of autonomous vehicles.

In order to attract and retain the necessary talent, companies and academic institutions are collaborating on programs and outreach. The Battery Innovation Center and Vincennes University have  joined forces to further educate current energy industry employees with a specialized curriculum in advanced battery storage systems. These multiple short courses offerings have been completed by over 400 attendees thus far, from companies like Cummins, Stanley Black and Decker, Rolls-Royce, Duke Energy and Allison Transmission.

Vincennes University is also working to take current curriculum around existing technician and diesel technician programs and expand to include hybrid and electrified powertrains. Several other institutions like Purdue University and Indiana State University are building awareness to the needs of certifications and degree paths for new and working students in batteries, advanced materials, and IoT. In order to meet the demand for these energy sector jobs, curriculum will need to include intensive, cutting-edge training in subjects like advanced battery architecture, hybridization, diesel technology, electrification, clean energy systems, materials science, chemistry, security, and safety processes.  

There is already an overwhelming need in the U.S. for graduates who can fulfill these battery and energy storage manufacturing, technician, engineering and design, and research needs. These programs will also provide the skill-up capabilities to bring the existing workforce forward to also help fill this quickly emerging sector. This educated workforce has application in transportation and autonomous vehicles, renewable energy, and IoT, among others.Today we hear from the smallest to the biggest names in the industries that they need talent that understands energy storage systems and batteries, have unfulfilled immediate job openings, and are seeking access to training real-time for sustaining workforce in this rapidly expanding area.

Growing the energy storage sector in Indiana, along with building a global presence, is a large focus of the Battery Innovation Center.  Based in the southern part of the state, close to WestGate Technology Park and NSWC Crane, its advanced battery storage prototyping and testing/validation capabilities influence national and global companies to place employees in Indiana and in their regions.

The BIC’s workforce needs mirror the gaps many other companies are beginning to experience. Overall, the talent development endeavors taken on by BIC and its many partners will benefit the industry as a whole. The steps towards energy industry innovation are generating the need for new Hoosier hires, bolstering the job market for energy-related positions. This, combined with programs targeted towards skilling-up the existing workforce and educating new talent, will continue creating a positive outlook for the future of advance power in Indiana and abroad.

Ben Wrightsman is chief executive officer of the Battery Innovation Center.

  • Perspectives

    • Ahh…Yes! Turning a Hot Mess into a Cool Breeze

      "Problems cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them," is attributed to Einstein over 75 years ago. This still holds true, particularly in challenging communications. Many people address conflict at the level it was created by rehashing and building more evidence for their ‘side’ of an argument. Repeating a position tends to intensify the separation of people.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Bob Stutz

      New Role For Salesforce Exec

      After three years on the job, Salesforce Marketing Cloud Chief Executive Officer Bob Stutz is moving into a new role. Stutz, who will remain in Indianapolis, is now executive vice president of strategic partners at Salesforce (NYSE: CRM).  Since arriving in Indianapolis, Stutz has overseen the establishment of the company’s regional headquarters in downtown Indianapolis, which included the Salesforce name being placed atop the state’s tallest building.

    • Red Star announced plans to expand and add 18 jobs.

      Larwill Medical Device Maker to Expand, Add Jobs

      A Whitley County-based medical device maker has announced plans to expand its facility in Larwill which should mean new jobs. Red Star Contract Manufacturing Inc. says it will invest $1.6 million in real estate improvements and additional equipment and will create 18 new jobs by 2022. 

    • Purdue Global Now Offers Analytics Degree

      The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs in the field of data analysis are projected to grow 26 percent over the next ten years. Acting upon that data, Indianapolis-based Purdue University Global has launched a new Bachelor of Science degree program in analytics. 

    • Regal Beloit is closing in Valparaiso. (photo courtesy; The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Valpo Bearings Plant to Close, Eliminating 160+ Jobs

      Wisconsin-based Regal Beloit Corp. and the union representing workers have reached an agreement about the closing of a helicopter bearing factory in Valparaiso. According to our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana, the decision will cost between 160 to 170 workers their jobs. 

    • (image courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      U.S. Steel Updates Layoff Notice to State

      Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) has updated the State of Indiana regarding its previously announced layoffs at the East Chicago Tin Mill. The company says 314, rather than 307, workers will be displaced when the mill is idled this fall.