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.
Real-world application of sustainability policies & standards
Use of software tools and energy audit processes
BUILD YOUR PORTFOLIO
Create energy audit reports and analysis
Prepare for industry recognized certifications
Resume writing and cover letter writing support services
Internship and job placement assistance services
Who We Are
Willdan and the ConEdison SMB Program are thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive reception, results, and feedback from the Clean Energy Academy formally launched in 2020 thanks to funding from NYSERDA’s PON 3981 program.
Building off of the momentum of two successful 3981 awards, through which we trained 120 students in 2020 on our Small Commercial Energy Efficiency Auditor (SCEEA) Electrical Systems curriculum and are poised to train an additional 140 more students in 2021 on our SCEEA Thermal Systems curriculum, we are now putting the pieces in place to take both of these curricula to the next level, as part of our program sustainability plan and scaling efforts.
To that end, we have designed a three-phase process through which to develop industry, academic, and workforce aligned curricula, as outlined below:
● Step 1: Industry Alignment & Curriculum Piloting
● Step 2: Academic Adoption & Curriculum Credentializing
● Step 3: Workforce Adoption & Curriculum Deployment
Step 1: Industry Alignment & Curriculum Piloting
During this initial phase; which is the phase that we just completed in 2020 for the electrical course and are in the process of completing for the thermal course, we work with industry partners to develop a top of the line curriculum, pilot it, receive feedback, and refine the curriculum as needed. During this phase, the goal is to develop training that is not only highly tailored to specific technology areas, sectors, and job functions but is also aligned to nationally recognized industry credentials and standards.
For this step, Willdan serves as the subject matter experts and industry advisors to ensure that all curriculum, training materials, and hands-on training experiences are aligned with industry standards and best practices. Willdan also leverages its partnerships, contractor networks, and industry insights to provide the foundation for the long-term success of the program’s training materials and placement efforts.
Step 2: Academic Adoption & Curriculum Credentializing
During this second step, which is the phase we are currently in and proposing via this proposal here for the SCEEA electrical and thermal systems courses, we will work with a leading academic institution to credentialize 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 put our courses through becoming both continuing education units (CEUs) and academic credit-bearing while concurrently developing asynchronous versions of the materials.
For this step, Willdan and the Clean Energy Academy Team have partnered with the New York Institute of Technology’s (NYIT) Manhattan Campus to serve as our academic lead partner. As the academic lead institution, NYIT will ensure the curriculum development and delivery meets the standards of an Institution of Higher Education (IHE) to have the curriculum fully institutionalized, offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs), and integrate it into NYIT’s course offerings in the future. Also, NYIT will serve as a supportive partner for delivering classroom training, program outreach, program recruitment, research activities, and career support services to recruit and train the professionals and students and help them with job placement in energy efficiency. By integrating NYIT in all aspects of the process, we can ensure 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, during this phase, we will work with leading workforce development partners to scale our series of training 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 with a proven methodology and assist them with onboarding and housing the training within their organizations.
Having our 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 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.