Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan joined Congressman Joe Kennedy and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton today to announce more than $457,000 in grants to fund clean five energy science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs across the state.
The grants, funded as part of MassCEC’s Workforce Capacity Building Program, will aid projects that help build STEM skills in students and boost the number of high school graduates pursuing STEM majors in college.
“The rapid expansion of Massachusetts’ clean energy industry is bringing fresh opportunities for job growth and economic activity across our Commonwealth,” said Congressman Joe Kennedy, who chairs the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council. “In order to maximize that potential it is critical we have a workforce prepared to seize these jobs. The grants announced today will support innovative partnerships between clean energy professionals, educators and students all geared at making sure we have the human capital to support this promising new industry. On the South Coast specifically, this grant money will allow Bristol Community College to help prepare workers across the region for the opportunities that wind, solar and other green technologies are already bringing to the area.”
“To continue expanding Massachusetts’ clean energy sector, we need to prepare educators and students for the clean energy jobs of tomorrow,” said Secretary Sullivan, who serves as the chairman of MassCEC’s board of directors. “Bringing clean energy professionals together with educators and students will train the next generation of clean energy workers.”
The Workforce Capacity Program provides funding for programs that develop and integrate clean energy- and STEM-related curricula, create practical problem-solving projects to address student skill development; and/or, provide clean energy and STEM-focused career exposure and/or work experience opportunities for both educators and students.
“Massachusetts clean energy companies are looking for qualified employees and this program provides students with the skills they need to compete in this rapidly growing sector of the global economy,” said Barton.
Programs receiving funding under the program are:
Boston Private Industrial Council $20,000 – The Boston Private Industrial Council will reach out to more than 600 youths through several events, including a Green Career Exploration Conference in the winter of 2014, a Youth Leadership Summit in July 2014 and monthly green jobs seminars with clean energy professionals.
Bristol Community College $100,000 – Bristol Community College’s (BCC) Green Center will partner with local high schools, area clean energy companies and government agencies to provide training for STEM educators and guidance counselors to ultimately increase students’ exposure to clean energy career paths through revised curricula and dual enrollment programs, in which high school students are able to take college courses.
Cape Cod Community College $144,000 – Cape Cod Community College will build a Bridge to College program to serve eligible low income high school seniors enrolled at Barnstable and Dennis Yarmouth high schools who are interested in pursuing advanced studies and careers in the solar energy field. The program will focus on math and renewable energy coursework, hands-on learning activities, lectures on clean energy topics and mentoring and other support services.
Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board $50,072 – The Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board (MVWIB) will expose students at Lawrence, Haverill and the Greater Lawrence Technical high schools to clean energy job opportunities through workshops, internship opportunities and visits with area clean energy companies. The program will also expose area teachers in clean energy concepts.
Northeastern University $143,000 – Northeastern University will build a Dual Enrollment program to serve eligible low-income high school seniors enrolled in the Boston Public Schools. The program will allow 30 students to participate in a Northeastern University credit bearing clean energy course as well as assist students with passing Advanced Placement (AP) high school mathematics courses. The program is designed to increase student interests in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and to increase student confidence to succeed in College.
Programs also engage clean energy industry in the classroom by providing dual enrollment programs that allow high school students to take college courses, offering high school internships for low-income youths and developing activities and practical laboratories for applied science in the clean energy field.
Clean energy jobs are on the rise in Massachusetts. From 2011 to 2012, clean energy jobs rose by 11.2 percent. There are 5,000 clean energy companies in Massachusetts that employ 72,000 workers.