Growth-oriented businesses often struggle to find qualified workers. This is especially true for companies that demand specialized skills not normally combined in college degree programs. Energy Insight, Inc., understands this challenge and is partnering with Century College of White Bear Lake, Minn., to address it—thanks to a nearly $50,000 grant from the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership.
Energy Insight has ridden the wave of Minnesota’s progressive energy conservation movement for years. It works with some of the state’s largest electric and natural gas utilities, helping them meet mandated energy-efficiency goals by demonstrating to their commercial, industrial, and governmental customers that energy conservation is a sound business practice. The company also assists businesses and organizations directly, providing a full range of conservation and energy management solutions.
Finding workers with the skills to perform comprehensive energy audits, collect and evaluate energy-related data, calculate savings, and make sound recommendations is an ongoing struggle for this growing company. Most new employees (primarily graduates of science, technology, engineering, and math programs) need additional training to fully function as energy analysts or engineers.
The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership connects businesses like Energy Insight with accredited Minnesota educational institutions for customized training programs that expand work opportunities and keep high paying jobs in the state. In this case, Energy Insight will work with Century College to develop a curriculum tailored to its work in the energy conservation field.
The technical training will focus on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; infrared thermography; steam trap studies; and emerging technologies that could help commercial/industrial customers save energy and lower costs. There also will be industry-specific training in communication, project management, and supervisory/leadership skills, plus a “train the trainer” component and opportunities for staff to gain certifications in the energy conservation field.
Energy Insight President Matt Haley is eager to partner with Century College in this training program. The company expects to grow at least 10% per year for the next three to five years. That will require nine to 15 additional skilled workers.
“We are grateful to the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership for this grant and the opportunity to customize training through Century College,” Haley said. “This is a great opportunity to leverage the training we are already doing and expand on it to develop our staff as the ‘best in class’ energy analysts and engineers.”
This program will help Energy Insight meet growing customer demands and keep energy-efficiency projects moving forward in Minnesota. Energy Insight is energized for tomorrow.