On June 8 and 9, local energy experts are teaming up to introduce high school students to the many careers in the electric utility field. SECO Energy, Duke Energy and Ocala Electric Utilities partnered with CareerSource CLM, College of Central Florida and Lockheed Martin to bring the Third Annual Youth Energy Academy to life for sixty students in Marion County.
The Youth Energy Academy is an interactive workshop aimed to spark the students interest in traveling an academic path toward a career in the energy industry. During the two-day event, students explore high-skill, high-wage careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The high-schoolers learn how electricity is delivered to homes and businesses, participate in hands-on demonstrations and discover the soft skills needed for a successful career.
Several years ago, the Florida Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) incorporated a Youth Energy Academy model focused on, but not limited to, minority students in St. Petersburg, Orlando and Ocala. The AABE goal is to proactively gain the interest of an emerging workforce by educating young people about opportunities in the energy arena.
Kathy Judkins, SECO Energy’s Deputy Director of Civic, Charitable and Government Affairs stated, “SECO Energy, Duke Energy and Ocala Electric Utilities have formed a strong partnership in the quest to develop a future talent pipeline of local students who show an interest in the energy industry. At this year’s Academy, students are gaining essential knowledge related to the array of jobs, careers and occupational requirements in energy today.”
Jim Duncan, CEO stated, “The Youth Academy aligns with two key cooperative principles, Education, Training and Information and also Concern for Community. The energy field has a bundle of diverse careers just waiting for talented candidates to apply. Participating in youth education programs gives SECO a hand in crafting its future workforce and gives local, talented youngsters employment opportunities close to home and family.”