Brian Andrews leveraged training programs to transition from being a meter reader at CenterPoint Energy in Houston, Texas to implementing the company’s smart meter and intelligent electric grid projects.
Hundreds of thousands of people found work in the past few years thanks to Recovery Act and Energy Department programs designed to stimulate the economy while creating new power sources, conserving resources and aligning the nation to once again lead the global energy economy.
Like too many Americans, when the recession hit Annette Herrera found herself without a job. For two and a half years she worked the phones and culled the classifieds, searching for an opportunity to work and earn a paycheck. When A123 Systems announced that they were planning to open two new advanced battery plants in Michigan thanks in part to a $249 million grant from the Recovery Act, she applied right away indicating that she’d be willing to take on any position in order to work there.
“Really anyone who likes science or math, we’ve probably got a job for you,” said Justin Johnson, Senior Director of Engineering at Oncor, one of the country’s largest transmission and distribution utilities based in Dallas, Texas. Find out more about the exciting career opportunities smart grid technology is offering.
More work must be done to streamline the process from creation to commercialization in order to ensure that the best ideas are appropriately matured and introduced to the marketplace, and avoid what is referred to as the “Valley of Death” – where great innovations go to die. Just as in the broad marketplace, the Energy Department has a large number of unlicensed patents that could be commercialized.
Secretary Steven Chu announces more than $30 million for 24 universities in 23 states across the country to train undergraduate- and graduate-level engineering students in manufacturing efficiency to help them become the nation's next generation of industrial energy efficiency experts.
Read about Power4Vets -- a program funded by Recovery Act money through the Energy Department’s Smart Grid Workforce Training program, which is helping to prepare the next generation of workers in the utility and electric industries for smart grid-related jobs.
Last night the President laid out the American Jobs Act, a specific, tangible, bi-partisan strategy for putting Americans back to work. This plan will cut taxes for small businesses and put more money into the pockets of hard working Americans, without adding a dime to the Federal deficit.