Monday, November 9, 2009

November Workforce Education Conference in Albany NY Nearly Sold Out

The 2009 New Ideas in Educating a Workforce in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Conference will be responsive to the national transition to a green workforce. There will be three plenary and general sessions; 17 breakout sessions; 52 presentations; and over 70 speakers sharing their experiences and expertise.

The conference will be held at the Albany Marriott in Albany, New York on November 19-20, with pre-conference workshops on November 18th."We have an exceptional line up of plenary speakers," said IREC's Jane Weissman, one of the conference organizers. Included in that impressive list are Mary Spilde, President of Lane Community College and Chair of the American Association of Community Colleges, Dan Lance from GE Wind, Jeff Spies of AEE Solar, Debra Rowe from Oakland Community College, and Steve Nadel from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko and NYSERDA's President Frank Murray will be luncheon speakers.

The conference is approaching capacity. According to conference organizers, 34 states and four countries are represented, including a German delegation of vocational education experts.
"New this year are two different sessions on job forecasts and labor profiles which will report on expected workforce development needs and the corresponding training programs required to meet projected employer demand," said Weissman. "We'll also look at how career pathways are being developed for individuals with diverse backgrounds and with different levels of skills and work experience."

A number of sessions will look at curriculum development and the different approaches that are being taken. Hands-on training is a key part of building a strong workforce and speakers will address integrating practical experience into classroom instruction. There will be sessions covering programs and activities initiated by federal and state governments.

All through the conference, there will be discussion about meeting challenges that are emerging with the growing need for quality training services.

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