With up to 25% of the electric generation industry getting ready to retire in the next five years, the waterpower industry is facing a critical moment. Waterpower desperately needs to recruit a wide array of bright and talented minds to form the next generation of industry professionals.
Exposing students to the opportunities in the waterpower industry and creating a clear path for them as they join the workforce is a critical mission.
The National Hydropower Association (NHA) is partnering with NEED (the National Energy Education Development Project) and the Hydropower Foundation on two important initiatives.
The groups are working together to use Clean Currents, the national industry-wide waterpower event, as a venue to:
- Interact with high schools educators and students who are influential in exposing the next generation to facts about electricity technologies and generation
- Connect close-to-graduating university and technical trade school students with professionals in the waterpower industry, with the objective of raising awareness of career opportunities in this industry
Training High School Teachers in the Sacramento Area
An “in-service” training for high school teachers in the Sacramento area is being offered by NEED, the National Energy Education Development Project, on Thursday, October 20, 2022.
A priority is to invite educators who are teaching 6th through 12th-grade classes on technology, environmental science, physical science, and physics. The teachers will be invited for a day of training on Thursday, October 20, at the Sacramento Convention Center.
The training is all about how to teach about waterpower in the classroom and will include some time in “CC Central” at the event, so teachers can see firsthand the technology being featured.
Hydro professionals attending Clean Currents will be able to “observe” the training, to evaluate the possibilities of working with NEED to offer similar training to teachers in their local areas.
Building the Workforce of the Future
NEED Project has collaborated with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) to invite local high school students to spend the day at Clean Currents on Wednesday, October 19th, 2022. Participating school groups will explore hands-on activities to understand the science and engineering behind hydropower and marine renewable energy. They will hear from industry speakers and visit the exhibit floor to learn about careers in waterpower.
While participation in the workshop is invitation-only, Clean Currents attendees are invited to visit the workshop throughout the day to see the students in action.
What is NEED?
The NEED Project designs and delivers teacher-tested educational materials, evaluation techniques and tools, recognition of student achievement, and professional development for educators. NEED materials and training programs provide comprehensive, objective information about the scientific concepts of energy and the sources of energy – their use and their impact on the environment, the economy and society.
Connecting University and Trade School Students with Industry
A “Hiring for Hydro” program at Clean Currents on Wednesday, October 19, will be managed by the Hydropower Foundation.
The purpose of the program is to bring soon-to-be-graduating students at universities and/or technical trade schools in the Sacramento area to Clean Currents on Wednesday, October 19, to:
- Experience the Opening Plenary Session of Clean Currents
- Participate in an educational workshop about careers in waterpower
- Explore CC Central to meet companies, interact with attendees, attend sessions, and learn about potential job possibilities
- Enjoy the Clean Currents Official Networking Social: Celebrate Waterpower! At the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity
“The Hydro Foundation was critical in my journey that led to me falling in love with the Hydropower industry. Thanks to the Hydro Foundation, I was able to produce graduate research that led to my Master’s Degree, gain valuable industry connections that still pay dividends 7 years later, and has given me a valuable experience on my resume that is respected highly by industry leaders. The best decision I’ve made in my career was at the beginning when I decided to get involved with the Hydro Foundation.“
Electrical Engineer, Hydroelectric Design Center , U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
What is the Hydropower Foundation?
The Hydropower Foundation is dedicated to ensuring hydropower’s sustainable contribution to a clean energy future through research and development of hydropower as a clean and beneficial renewable resource. Funded by contracts, grants, events, industry sponsorships, and memberships, the Foundation actively engages and serves the clean energy industry by supporting work in education, research, and workforce development.
Many of the Foundation’s projects and programs include the participation of post-secondary educators and student researchers. The Foundation strives to maintain strong connections with academia at the university, community college, and trades level in various disciplines.
“Hydropower is all about community. The hydropower industry is tight-knit and actively works together on hydropower’s communal benefits and challenges. Being a part of Clean Currents helped introduce me to the hydropower community and established connections that have been indispensable in my job at the Department of Energy.“
Clean Currents 2021 Hydro Think Tank Participant & University Student, now Hydropower Engineer at U.S. Department of Energy