In an effort to help states build and maintain a workforce tooled to work in a clean energy economy, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices has released a new issue brief. Higher education systems, training programs and private industry will have to work in tandem to develop a clean energy workforce, the brief urged.
In a document called, Enhancing State Clean Energy Workforce Training to Meet Demand, the NGA Center outlines strategies for states to consider as ARRA funding for job training and clean energy investments begin to end.
“Several factors— including regulations, high costs of traditional fuels and consumer choice—have boosted the demand for clean energy technologies. At the same time, the demand for workers trained to install and service these technologies also has grown,” John Thomasian, director of the NGA Center, said in a statement.
According to the issue, brief several successful strategies have been employed across the states to fully leverage stimulus funds with community colleges and private sector investments. Among some of the briefs findings, states are:
- Developing statewide curricula and certification programs with community colleges;
- Coordinating state, local and private sector workforce training efforts;
- Improving access to available training;
- Using data to assist clean energy workforce development; and
- Leveraging private sector funding to build larger, longer-term training programs.
Thomasian said that many elements needed to build a clean energy workforce already exist, but that challenges remain in developing sustainable strategies after ARRA funding winds down in 2012.
In addition to the issue brief, NGA announced a partnership with Innovate+Educate to improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the states. To commemorate the effort, $50,000 was allocated to support the Massachusetts Governor’s STEM Council recommendations as a part of the state’s comprehensive STEM policy reform.
For more information on the partnership, click here.