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Program Overview

The Willdan Clean Energy Academy’s energy efficiency career training program offers free advanced-level courses designed to meet the needs of the clean energy job market. We prepare our students with real world technical knowledge that matches the skills gaps communicated to us by our employment partners so that we can create a true Win-Win experience for our students and our employers.

Who We Are

Given that Willdan is not a Trade School, University nor a Workforce Agency, but rather a publicly traded energy and civil engineering firm, we want to be thoughtful and strategic in our approach to growing and sustaining this WCEA Initiative, so as to maximize its longevity, accessibility, applicability [i.e. industry alignment], and utility [usefulness to the market].

To that end, the WCEA has designed a three-phase process through which we develop, refine and scale industry, academic, and workforce aligned curricula, as outlined below:


  • Step 1: Industry Alignment & Curriculum Piloting

  • Step 2: Academic Adoption & Curriculum Credentialing

  • Step 3: Workforce Adoption & Curriculum Deployment

Step 1: Industry Alignment & Curriculum Piloting

During this initial phase, the WCEA works with industry partners to develop a top-of-the-line curriculum, pilot it, receive feedback, and refine as needed. The goal in this phase is to develop training that is not only highly tailored to specific technology areas, sectors, and job functions but that is also aligned to nationally recognized industry credentials and standards, including but not limited to the credentials listed to the right.


For this step, Willdan (engineering and EE program management) staff serve as the subject matter experts and industry advisors to ensure that all curriculum, learning objective, training materials, and hands-on training experiences are aligned with industry standards, program requirements, and best practices. Willdan also leverages its partnerships, extensive contractor networks, to engage additional subject matter experts on specific topics like Electrification and Energy Modeling, as needed.

















Step 2: Academic Adoption & Curriculum Credentialing

During this second step, the WCEA works with a leading academic institution to credential and institutionalize the curriculum. During this phase, the goal is to take the curriculum and LMS developed in Step 1 and find an academic home for the course that can enable courses to transfer both into Professional Development Hours (PDHs), Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and into academic credits while concurrently developing asynchronous versions of the materials.


To this end, and for this step, the WCEA has partnered with the New York Institute of Technology’ (NYIT) to serve as its academic lead partner. As the academic lead institution, NYIT shall ensure that the curriculum development and delivery meets the standards of an institution of higher education to have the curriculum fully institutionalized, offer PDHs / CEUs, and integrate it into NYIT's course offerings in the future. Additionally, NYIT serves as a supportive partner for delivering classroom training, program outreach, program recruitment, research activities, and career support services to recruit and train professionals and students and help them with job placement in energy efficiency. Integrating NYIT in all aspects of the process allows the WCEA to ensure that the program and curriculum can be fully adopted and eventually become a full, credit-bearing course.

Step 3: Workforce Adoption & Curriculum Deployment

In the future, the WCEA will work with leading workforce development partners to scale its series of trainings and ensure continued access to participants from Priority Populations. During this phase, the goal is to provide community-based organizations and workforce partners with a blueprint for a successful program and assist them with onboarding and housing the training within their organizations.


Having the WCEA training curriculum adopted by the industry in step one and academic institutions in step two demonstrates the "proof of concept" and market need for the training. This process is critical for sustaining the program in the long term and providing career advancement to Priority Populations and participants from low- and middle-income (LMI) communities. Workforce agencies with wraparound services and large-scale budgets for training programs are ideal candidates to adopt this training program and expand the career advancement opportunities of the clients they serve.

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