17th Energy Career Cluster

Learn more about the 17th Energy Career Cluster and how Virginia schools are teaching students about careers in energy.


Get Into Energy Innovation Challenge

The Virginia Chamber of Commerce and VEWC high school and industry company members participated in the Get Into Energy Innovation Challenge during the 2018-19 school year.

Students were asked to answer the following Problem Statement:

The Virginia energy grid requires modernization to become more sustainable, reliable, and flexible. The current grid is limited by pre-existing technology and infrastructure. The Virginia Grid Transformation and Security Act of 2018 provides a road map to prioritize and strengthen Virginia’s renewable energy and harden the energy grid for security and reliability. What innovative, renewable energy or sustainability solutions do you recommend to create Virginia’s “self-healing” energy grid?

The objectives of this challenge were to:

  • Provide authentic experiences through solving problems that are important to the field or industry
  • Build student awareness in Energy careers
  • Link to academically rigorous science and mathematics requirements and address important student learning outcomes
  • Allow students to apply technical knowledge and skills through assessing information, testing hypotheses, and problem solving
  • Result in project management experiences relevant across industries, including teamwork, developing solutions, and presenting results orally or in writing

Eligible students were those taking the Energy & Power course or Energy Industry Fundamentals course framework at their high school, as well as other students as determined by the school’s teacher or staff. Students were placed on teams of no more than 10 by their school representative / teacher.

Industry partners assigned staff member(s) to serve as point of contact and industry mentors.

The final competition took place on April 16, 2019, at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, VA.

Careers in Energy Week

Careers in Energy Week takes place the second week of October each year. CEWD and its members created Careers in Energy Week to increase public awareness about energy careers through a concerted nationwide effort. Members of the Virginia Energy Workforce Consortium (VEWC) conduct a number of activities for Careers in Energy Week.

Activities and events have included, but are not limited to the following.

  • The Governor of Virginia signed a proclamation for Careers in Energy Week. (Signed Proclamation)
  • One employer hosted its annual PGA Charity Classic golf tournament during Careers in Energy Week. Proceeds from this tournament go to military and veteran organizations. The Troops to Energy Jobs program and Virginia’s Energy educational and career pathways were promoted.
  • One employer sponsored a two-day “Power The Future Design-A-Thon” at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Engineering. This is a unique 36-hour challenge where college students from all disciplines put their talents to the test to bring ideas to life. There is a focus on developers, programmers, engineers, creatives, marketers, analysts, and business development. A $4,000 cash prize was awarded to the top team and there were additional prizes for second and third place teams.
  • The Richmond, VA Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual “Mission Tomorrow” event, a career exploration event for thousands of 8th graders. Dominion Energy was the presenting sponsor and had large displays including a large bucket truck, hot truck / “live wire” display, IT, innovation, and a number of other displays to help bring our careers to life for the 8th graders.
  • Several high schools offering the Energy & Power course (Energy Industry Fundamentals) conducted demonstrations led by the Energy students. The schools’ industry partners provided speakers, presentations, and “live wire” demonstrations for the classes.
  • Employers participated in career fairs hosted by a number of our universities and community colleges highlighting our Energy industry internships and career opportunities.
  • Southside Virginia Community College partnered with employers to promote their Power Line Worker Training Program and other Energy programs to high school CTE programs across the state.
  • Central Virginia Community College has received grants from the Office of the Governor of Virginia allowing them to receive and begin constructing a solar panel to operate their new “Farm Bot,” which will be completely sustainable. Construction on the “Farm Bot” began during Careers in Energy Week.
  • Employers engaged their Employee Resource Groups and internal diversity organizations to support the activities planned for Careers in Energy Week.
  • Several employers engaged their internal employees to participate in an “I Got Into Energy” communications plan including internal articles, surveys for employees to share their favorite aspects of working in the Energy industry, and social media campaigns to help create awareness about careers in the Energy industry, how our employees got into Energy, and why they work in Energy.

Virginia Governor Signs Executive Order to Expand Access to Renewable Energy, Support Clean Energy Jobs of the Future

Governor Ralph Northam has signed Executive Order Forty-Three, which establishes ambitious statewide goals and targets for clean energy deployment and expands upon the Commonwealth’s commitments to reduce our environmental impact, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and boost the clean energy economy in Virginia. The Commonwealth’s Chief Workforce Advisor and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade will work with stakeholders to develop an energy workforce plan that supports the growing needs of the energy efficiency and renewable energy sector and creates career pathways for the communities that need them the most by aligning current curriculum and training programs with job opportunities.  The plan should also leverage existing efforts, including the Virginia Energy Workforce Consortium and Build Virginia. Click here to learn more.

VEWC Members Represented on Virginia STEM Education Commission

Governor Ralph Northam has signed Executive Order Thirty-Six, establishing the Virginia Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education Commission. The Commission will develop a State STEM plan to create a unified statewide vision and dynamic set of shared goals to strategically inform how we prepare Virginia’s students for the STEM jobs of the future. Several members of the Virginia Energy Workforce Consortium were appointed to this commission.

Blueprint Virginia 2025: A Business Plan For the Commonwealth – Virginia Chamber of Commerce

Blueprint Virginia is a comprehensive initiative that provides business leadership, direction, and long-range economic planning for Virginia.  Energy is an important resource for Virginia’s business community and its citizens.  Virginia must build a diverse portfolio of energy resources to remain competitive.  The Virginia Chamber of Commerce recognizes and supports the efforts of the VEWC including our efforts in the Blueprint Virginia 2015 and providing a seat on the Chamber’s Energy Industry Council. To view Blueprint Virginia 2025, click here.


2017 Energy Workforce and Education Pathways Conference

Thanks to all who attended the Energy Workforce and Education Pathways Conference!

Take a look at pictures from the event here.


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