Pacific Gas and Electric Co. joined San Diego Gas and Electric and Sacramento Municipal Utility District to celebrate Careers in Energy Week (Oct. 15-21) by announcing an essay contest for high school students and an innovation idea challenge for community college and university students. Winners will receive up to $1,000 each.
The theme of the contests is how an education in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) can power the future workforce of the energy industry. This is California's first Careers in Energy Week, supported by Gov. Jerry Brown as part of a nationwide effort to increase student and public awareness about technical education and job opportunities in the energy and utility industry.
"Sustaining a future of affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible energy requires creativity, drive and new ways of thinking," said John Simon, senior vice president of human resources for PG&E. "Through initiatives like Careers in Energy Week, PG&E is encouraging students and budding innovators to get connected with the new energy workforce."
The Center for Energy Workforce Development has spearheaded the Careers in Energy Week initiative across the country. California is the 14th state to sign on, propelled by the California Energy and Utility Workforce Consortium, which includes representatives from education, industry and workforce system.
The three participating California utilities kicked off the week with student outreach to approximately two dozen educational institutions, including high schools, community colleges and universities. The outreach reinforced STEM technical training programs, career pathways in the utility and energy industries and programs through local nonprofits and educational institutions.
The outreach also promoted the two contests. For the essay contest, three high school winners will be selected, each earning a $500 cash prize. In the innovation idea contest, three teams of community college or university students (up to four people per team) will earn cash prizes of $1,000 each.
Each participating school will select up to 10 entries to be submitted in each competition. The deadline for entries in both is Friday, Nov. 16.