Gateway To Offer Associate Degree In Energy Technologies

Gateway Community and Technical College will soon begin offering an associate in applied science degree in Energy Technologies. The new program will provide students with critical workforce skills in high demand by regional energy companies, according to industry partners that helped develop the program.

The program was approved in June by the Kentucky Community and College System. Students can begin taking classes this fall and can declare Energy Technologies as a major in January 2012.

The input of partners such as Duke Energy, Bowlin Group LLC, Owen Electric Cooperative, and Insight Communications assures that students will be well-prepared to work in a variety of high-demand jobs, said Dr. Anthony Clarke, dean of Workforce Solutions at Gateway. Their training will provide skills in smart grid technologies, fiber optics installation, energy management in commercial settings, residential energy efficiency, and renewable energy technologies.

The degree incorporates multiple options associated with different energy careers.
Graduates will be prepared for such positions as entry-level utility apprentice, line maintenance technician, transformer/relay technician, fiber optic technician,
network communications technician, voice and data wiring technician, electrical controls technician (energy manager), renewable energy technician, or residential energy efficiency auditor.

The variety of skills and numerous training options provided through the new degree will produce graduates with the skills needed to address the critical workforce needs currently experienced by Energy employers throughout the region and state, said Mark Stallons, president and CEO of Owen Electric Cooperative.

Blevins Bowlin, chairman of the Bowlin Group LLC, added that advancements in technology require a more rounded training background for utility workers. From
computer technology, to fiber and wireless communication, to utility infrastructure, workers going forward will need to know and understand how each of these will affect the other. We feel the associate in applied science in Energy Technologies degree at Gateway will very much fill this need.

The degree will establish a pipeline for the many new energy workers needed as a utility worker of the future, said Avery Adams, manager of Smart Grid Deployment Planning at Duke Energy.

The degree includes six certificate options, including Energy Utility Technician (Lineperson), Outside Plant Technician, Energy Efficiency Electrical Controls Technician, Energy Efficiency and Analysis, Solar/Photovoltaic Technologies, and Wind Systems Technologies.

The degree also will prepare students for a range of industry certifications that are valued by employers, said Energy Program Coordinator Dr. Yvonne Meichtry. The certificate options and industry certifications will give students a powerful foundation to build a long-term future in the energy industry.

Industry certifications include Building Analyst from the Building Performance Institute (BPI); Photovoltaic System Installer (PV), Underwriters Laboratories (UL); National Electrical Code Certification; Fiber Optic Outside Plant Technicians (CFospT), Fiber Optic Association; Entry-Level Certificate of Knowledge of Solar PV Systems, North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP); OSHA 10; and OSHA 30.

For more information about all energy programs offered at Gateway, visit http://gateway.kctcs.edu/ and search Energy Program or contact Dr. Meichtry at Yvonne.meichtry@kctcs.edu or 859-442-4190.

For information about Gateway Admissions and Registration, visit http://gateway.kctcs.edu/Admissions.aspx.