Michigan energy companies partner to address growing industry talent shortage
DETROIT, Oct. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- DTE Energy and Consumers Energy are partnering to address a growing industry talent shortage with the third annual Careers in Energy Week, proclaimed Oct. 17-21 by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Michigan boasts nearly 97,000 energy jobs, and the Michigan Workforce Development Agency estimates the Energy Cluster to grow by 9.4 percent through 2024. At the same time, an estimated 25 to 50 percent of workers in Michigan's utility sector will be eligible to retire within the next five years.
"There is incredible demand for skilled trade professionals in Michigan's energy industry," said Tracy DiSanto, DTE Energy manager, Workforce Planning and Analytics, and co-chair of the Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium (MEWDC). "Yet many students aren't exposed to the high-potential, rewarding career options our industry offers."
There are more than 1,800 new utility jobs in Michigan each year, and DTE Energy and Consumers Energy collectively provide more than 600 internship and co-op jobs for high school and college students. Careers in Energy Week aims to spark interest in these opportunities through educational events, including:
- Interactive student tours of DTE Energy, Consumers Energy and Lansing Board of Water and Light training facilities, giving students hands-on experience with skill-based energy careers.
- Distribution of Take Action energy efficiency kits to elementary and secondary school students to facilitate conversations around the energy industry, safety and energy efficiency.
- Open tours at MIAT College of Technology, allowing the public to see gas turbines, try on welding gear, use wind turbine technician equipment and participate in an energy obstacle course.
- College recruitment across Michigan for co-ops, internships and full-time positions.
"A strong talent pipeline is key to building and sustaining Michigan's energy industry," said Stacy Mowrer, Consumers Energy director, Learning and Development, and MEWDC co-chair. "Careers in Energy Week is all about generating excitement for jobs in an often-overlooked industry, and creating meaningful career pathways for students."
The Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium is an industry-led partnership of more than 50 organizations dedicated to addressing current and future workforce issues that are crucial to building and sustaining Michigan's energy industry. MEWDC recently created Michigan's 17th career cluster in energy, enabling high schools and community colleges to incorporate energy-related courses in their curriculum. DTE Energy and Consumers Energy support energy education efforts at schools and nonprofit groups through annual Foundation contributions of more than $4.1 million.
About DTE Energy
DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio includes non-utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.
About Consumers Energy
Consumers Energy is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
SOURCE DTE Energy