WECS Renewables, a proud advisory board member of CREATE, is excited to announce that the CREATE Energy Advanced Technological Education Center has been awarded $7.5 million in grant funding from the National Science Foundation. CREATE Center’s mission is to produce a skilled, technical American renewable energy workforce.

Funded through NSF’s Advanced Technological Education program, the CREATE National Energy Center will be the only one of its kind. The National Energy Center will provide for more than 900 U.S. renewable energy educators to receive training, share renewable energy technology, resources, and curriculums, and to serve as educators for the incoming workforce into the energy industry.

“The world is in the midst of a once-in-a-century transformation of our energy infrastructure,” said CREATE Director and Madison College instructor Ken Walz. “Renewable energy is the fastest-growing energy source in the world and is projected to provide more than 90% of new electric power capacity through the next decade. This creates an enormous opportunity for students to secure well-paying, family-supporting jobs that cannot be exported, are not easily done by robots and benefit society at large.”

Today, solar installers and wind technicians represent two of the top five fastest growing jobs in the American economy. However, there are not enough skilled people to support the job demand. Equipping energy professionals with the skillsets to build successful, good-paying careers, provides economic growth for Americans. The CREATE Center will help facilitate this opportunity.

The energy center will be looking to support solar, wind, nuclear, biodiesel, and additional energy sources, too. Expanded partnerships between CREATE and key corporate industry players who employ future workers, such as member-companies of organizations like American Clean Power (ACP), to help facilitate renewables job placement, as well as improvement of gender equity in the energy field, are also included in the areas of focus for the center. CREATE and ACP are also investigating collaboration opportunities alongside to help further promote ACP’s “Energy Transition for All” initiative.

Theresa Eaton, CEO of WECS Renewables, a national renewables distributor and Advisory Board Member of CREATE stated, “This funding is coming at a critical moment. Today our industry has the ability to generate widespread, well-paying energy jobs across our country. Now, with CREATE’s help, our industry can (I) successfully train and equip both educators and future workers, (II) further the mission of achieving American clean, affordable energy, and equally importantly, (III) we can promote energy independence for our country. How amazing is that?”