Manufacturing green job training is getting a leg up from the Department of Energy with Secretary Steven Chu’s announcement that the DOE will be partnering with several private organizations to expand IT tools and technical support for developing high school and community college green job training courses.
The DOE’s National Training and Education Resource Center is intended to be used as a foundation for lessons and classes focused on green technologies. In fact, they’re already being used to deliver energy efficiency training. Teachers can create interactive, 3-D scenarios and virtual environments focused on developing a specific skill set (like repairing electric cars). In addition, students will also be able to find, share, and rate these manufacturing training courses.
One of the most interesting and potentially useful pieces of this program is the Manufacturing Institute’s plan to launch a Manufacturing Skills Certification Course. High school and community college students will study and earn a manufacturing credential certificate applicable across states lines which could help these students earn greater salaries with their unique skill sets from metalworking to welding. The Manufacturing Institute will be working with several trade organizations to coordinate training and (hopefully) design curricula which will truly help these students land green manufacturing jobs.
The funds allocated to the Ford Partnership will be used to support and train future professionals who seek work in energy. And Macomb Community College – the third organization mentioned in the DOE’s announcement – plans to use the DOE grants for training students on electric vehicles.