San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) joined other California utilities to kick off Careers in Energy Week, an initiative recently commemorated by California Gov. Jerry Brown. As part of a nationwide effort to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and address the need for a qualified, diverse energy industry workforce, Careers in Energy Week will take place throughout the week of Oct. 15.
"San Diego is at the forefront of innovation in energy and this is a perfect opportunity to work with students who can potentially fill our future workforce needs," said Scott Drury, vice president of human resources, diversity and inclusion for SDG&E. "It's really important to start educating early in order to engage young minds in the fields of science and engineering, so bringing the concept of Careers in Energy Week to California is a perfect fit."
The Careers in Energy Week initiative has been proclaimed in thirteen other states and was developed by the national Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD). Members of the California Energy and Utility Workforce Consortium, which include representatives from the education and the energy industry have also worked together to bring the concept to California.
SDG&E, along with fellow consortium members will launch Careers in Energy Week with targeted student outreach to approximately two dozen educational institutions in the state, including high schools such as the California Career Partnership Academies, community colleges, and universities to reinforce the viable opportunities around STEM curriculum within the energy industry.
During Careers in Energy Week, individual high school students and teams of community college and university students will be able to win cash prizes through essay writing contests and innovation idea challenges around the theme: STEM - powering the future workforce of the energy industry. Six prizes in total will be awarded to winners, three in each competition, from $500 for high school students to $1,000 for the winning college/university teams.