A Strong Outlook
Submitted by Michelle Dreier,
Member Engagement/Gov't Affairs Manager
It has been a very productive couple of months for workforce development. The need is great and also growing. The electrical industry is competing with every other industry to find good talent.
The good news is we are competitive. We offer a great career with excellent wages and benefits. The legislature, state agencies, and community-based organizations are taking notice and offering up resources to help.
Over the past month, I learned that the governor wants 1,000,000 electrical vehicles on the road by 2030. We currently have 40,000. EV Charging stations anyone? Also 100% by 2040 has been signed into law. This means 100% of our energy generation must be from carbonless sources. Solar projects are expected to double over the next 5-6 years. Can we grow our electrical workforce to meet these lofty goals?
Several new technical colleges are exploring developing electrical programs. Our existing technical schools deliver great talent, but lab space is often the limiting factor in the number of students they can graduate.
I visited the RATC new solar program for the first time. They offer an 8-day NACEP certification in north Minneapolis. The same center also provides EVITP certification for electrical vehicle charging installations.
I’ve also met with the City of Minneapolis who informed me about an upcoming RFP that will supplement apprentices wages at $19 per hour for 160 days if contractors provide work opportunities to their participants.
I’ve spoken with multiple organizations looking to provide career readiness in the clean energy space. Interest in becoming an electrician is growing. Interest in providing these pathways is also growing. Members can look for these resumes on our career page.
We are seeing the outcomes of our legislative wins this session. With increased YouthBuild funding, we’re seeing new partners in The Man Up Club, and Workforce Development Inc., and seeing current programs grow such as Goodwill-Easter Seals and their new focus on green trades.
Additionally Minnesota Housing Finance Agency is rolling out grant support to high school construction programs who build homes as part of their curriculum. High school programs can be awarded grants of up to $100,000 if the program creates housing for low-income families. Applications should be accepted early next year.
The Association is supporting four high school home building projects now with a potential 5th.
Volunteer Opportunity! I always have potential mentoring opportunities, which you can find on our career page. Please consider giving back and helping to grow our workforce. Also, we’d love members to join our workforce committee to help direct our work.
Remember that our members can learn more at our new career portal on the website. Check it out at www.electricalassociation.com/CareerCenter
Let us know how the Electrical Association can best help your business navigate change.