Natalie Greenwell, director of workforce and economic development at Collin College, said the curricula will be developed for a blended-learning program, where students will use both online and face-to-face class time to complete the program, called "Smart Grid Management."
"It will start out as a local continuing education certification offered through Collin College
"It will be a replicable program and SECO plans to make it available to other colleges throughout the state."
The Smart Grid Management Program proposal starts with the fundamentals of electricity and an overview of the national power industry and proceeds on to smart grid, smart meters, and how to apply analytics to smart meter data, she
The program ends with the study of renewables, energy efficiencies and practices.
"This training is targeted to workers in current and future energy-related jobs and anyone involved in cost and use of energy -- from distribution to consumption," she
In the long run, Greenwell
said, the college would like the curricula to develop into an industry-recognized certification that prepares employees to work throughout the energy sector.
SECO will disseminate the information statewide, allowing higher education institutions around the state access to the new certification.
"The college's Center for Workforce and Economic Development is always seeking opportunities to create and offer new training programs that upgrade the local workforce or prepares new hires for new and emerging businesses," she
"We found that partnering with industry in the development of such programs allows us to gain insight into what training is really needed."
The grant includes a pilot training program that will bring in participants from the energy field to test the training and provide feedback.
"It is our perfect opportunity to tweak the training before opening it up to everyone," Greenwell
As more smart applications are created to monitor and manage energy, Greenwell
said more businesses will be interested in having someone on their team with the knowledge to use these Smart Meter applications to their benefit.
"I imagine anyone currently experiencing the heat wave across Texas and wondering if there will be rolling blackouts in the next few days would be very be interested in an employee with certification in energy efficiency," she