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300% Salary Increase With 2 Years of Energy Training


Richard D. Holman
Deputy Director
Energy Systems Technology and Education Center
Idaho State University

  Interview Highlights

  • The Energy Systems Technology and Education Center is a joint effort with Dept of Labor, National Science Foundation, and State of Idaho.
  • Trains people to become energy systems technicians in disciplines needed by the energy sector.
  • These are skilled jobs for the green industry.
  • They recruit kids right out of high school as well as people displaced from their jobs or people who are underemployed.
  • Some of the people they train were in jobs making $8 and will make $20-$25 per hour after the training.
  • It is a 2 year program.
  • Between the 2nd and 3rd year they work as an intern with one of their industry partners.
  • These people can triple their income with 2 years of training.
  • These are careers and not jobs.
  • Many current people in the energy sector are now about 50 years old, will soon retire, and their jobs have to be filled.
  • They recruit a high percentage of woman, Latinos and single moms for these careers.
  • They offer full ride scholarships to the program.
  • Their program is on the Idaho State University web site which is The Center for Energy Workforce Development is a clearinghouse for programs like these. Ann Randoso is the director.
  • The program has been around for 3 years.
  • A local secretary enrolled in the program and made such a good impression on an energy company that they moved her and her entire family to a state in the Southeast for a great job.
  • They are taking people out of poverty wage level and giving them an opportunity they can use for a lifetime.