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3 trends to watch for in the power utility industry

If a fortuneteller looked into a crystal ball to glimpse the future of the power utility industry, he or she would see a future full of progress and changes. A big reason for this is new innovations trying to address the diverse challenges and opportunities in the different regions in the United States. At the same time, the industry needs to balance this with pressures to reduce costs, streamline operations, and meet state and national regulations for security and environmental compliance.

Tags: power utility, ebook

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5 questions prospective power utility technician students should ask

The stuff someone is already good at, and enjoys doing, is an important consideration if choosing a power utility technician program. That might seem like a no-brainer, but prospective students should take the time to match up their skills and interests with possible career paths in power utility. For example, those with a knack for problem solving, thinking on their feet and don't have a fear of heights may be interested in working as a lineman.

Tags: power utility, ebook

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Q&A with Danny Wilson, Ecotech Institute Power Utility Technician student

Danny Wilson has more than 20 years working in technology-related fields. He's a retired member of the United States Air Force and holds a number of degrees, including a master's in business administration. He has a family and also works full time. Soon, Danny will have one more item to add to his extensive and impressive resume — a degree in power utility technology.

Tags: power utility, eBook, student stories

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All about power utility technology: Q&A with Ecotech Institute instructor Kerry Urbaniak

Kerry Urbaniak is the lead electronics instructor for the Power Utility Technician program at Ecotech Institute. Before teaching, Kerry's work experience spanned across several areas. He first got started working in electronics in the U.S. Army, where he worked in satellite communications. After that, he worked on aircraft instruments in Florida for a few years before becoming an instructor.

Tags: power utility, eBook, faculty and staff

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What does a Wind Energy Technician do?

In this age of rapid energy use and decreasing natural resources, renewable energy is becoming increasingly important. Wind is one of those clean, renewable energy sources that helps lead the charge. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics wind power is one of the fastest-growing sources of electrical power in the world.

Tags: Wind Energy

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Ecotech Institute Offers Job Insights, Advice and Resources in Latest eBook: "Starting A Career in Energy Efficiency"

Free, comprehensive guide gives future energy professionals all the tools necessary for a green career change

Denver, Colo. - April 30, 2015 - Ecotech Institute, the first and only college in the U.S. solely focused on renewable energy jobs and sustainability, today announced the release of a new eBook on how to start a career in energy efficiency. This free, comprehensive guide covers everything from a day in the life of energy project managers, potential salary earnings, required skills, and even insights from the CEO of Essess, a company that uses thermal imaging to assess energy efficiency.

Tags: ebook, residential energy management

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Solar Is the Choice for Power Jobs

What’s bright and shiny and rapidly overtaking the oil and gas industry? You guessed it: the solar industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the solar jobs sector employs ...

Tags: solar energy

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What Does an Energy Auditor do?

Job Opportunities for Facilities Managers

You may be most familiar with the term “audit” in the context of a financial review. While one goal of energy audits is dollar savings, energy auditors are reviewing the inflows and outflows of energy in buildings rather than dollars in monetary accounts. A fiscal auditor ensures that your budget is sound from the standpoint of economics and finance; an energy auditor ensures that your building is sound from the standpoint of physics.

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Of Negawatts and Energy Managers

“Energy-saving technologies keep improving faster than they’re applied, so efficiency is an ever larger and cheaper resource.” ~Amory Lovins

Energy efficiency is the low-hanging fruit of our sustainable future. The cheapest unit of energy is the one you don’t have to produce. In a now-famous 1990 article, energy expert Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute captured this concept in his term, “negawatt” (i.e., “negative watt”). In a 2012 retrospective, Slate magazine’s “Welcome the Negawatt Revolution” explains:

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The Ideal Facility Manager

“An ideal facility manager must have Aristotle’s logic and Solomon’s wisdom, a priest’s discretion and a gambler’s poker face, a lawyer’s shrewdness and a marketing director’s charm, a gladiator’s guts, a marathon runner’s perseverance and a sprinter’s speed, a leatherneck’s toughness and a dancer’s agility, lots of good luck and 30 hours per day.”  ~Unknown Source

A couple of months ago, we established that Facilities Managers are not janitors. But I don’t like defining things by what they’re not. So let’s take another look at what it takes to play the role of a facility manager.

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Huge Surge in U.S. Clean Energy Jobs

In a recent blog post, I discussed how there were 6.5 million people employed worldwide in renewable energy in 2013—a 14% increase from 2012. (Cue late-night infomercial voice…) But wait, there’s more!=

We just reviewed employment data from our free online tool, the Clean Jobs Index, for the past year. The Jobs category of the Clean Jobs Index uses actual clean economy job numbers for each state, as provided by Burning Glass, a management-owned company founded by scientists and dedicated to leading technologies for matching people with jobs. Data is cross-referenced to “green jobs,” as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Drum roll, please…)

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I Can Have a Green Job?

Stalin is purported to have said, "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." It's kind of like that (but in a positive sense) with jobs…one is a lifeline; a million is a statistic. So what can we say about 6.5 million jobs, in the worldwide renewable energy industry, no less? Can I at least get a "Woo hoo!"?

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Considering a degree in Power Utility? 6 things you need to know

Have you ever thought about the power lines and stations that send power to your house? The people who install, maintain and improve our power supply are called power utility technicians and they play a very significant role in society. "I can't think of a more important career mission than pursuing a job in this field," said Patrick Longstreth, a program director at the Ecotech Institute. If you're interested in making a difference by joining this field, Mr. Longstreth offered these six things to know:

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Facilities Managers... We're Not Janitors

If I were to ask you, "What does a Facilities Manager job entail," what would you answer? (Hint: If you think this has something to do with janitorial services, you're way off!)

According to Wikipedia, "Facility management (or facilities management or FM) is an interdisciplinary field devoted to the coordination of space, infrastructure, people and organization, often associated with the administration of office blocks, arenas, schools, convention centers, shopping complexes, hospitals, hotels, etc."

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The Coming Solar Job Boom and More News

Although recent reports have stated that investment in solar energy has decreased since 2011, the solar energy industry is poised to boom, says David Glenn at CleanTechnica. Since the overall cost of solar power has dropped 60% since the start of 2011, advancements in solar technology are becoming more and more efficient and more people are choosing solar energy for their homes and businesses. As Glenn writes, "Solar power may be old news, but its news that residents around the world are finally starting to embrace."

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Why Are Veterans Drawn Toward Green Energy Jobs?

Exciting news for veterans interested in renewable energy! A new initiative, Operation Free, is connecting veterans to green energy initiatives across the U.S. Sponsored by the Truman Project for National Security and the Center for National Policy, Operation Free writes, "We recognize that climate change and our dependence on oil are national security threats. We fight on a local, state, and federal level for strong clean energy policies."

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Safety Must Be A Commitment in Wind Energy

Alden Zeitz writes as a guest blogger for Ecotext in this post.  He is a member of Ecotech Institute’s national board of advisors. He is the Manager of Renewable Energy Services for Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative and offers of wealth of experience in the wind energy sector.

Day-to-day operation of a wind generation site can be a daunting experience, even for the most experienced professional. At any given time a number of tasks can simultaneously occur on site.  Successfully managing this effort can be a challenge and is critical to returning those turbines back to service as soon as possible, safely and efficiently.


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Clean Jobs Index: Wind Energy Technician

This is the first in a planned series of blog entries describing the occupational outlook of specific jobs for which we provide training at America’s first Ecotech Institute. Graduates of our Wind Energy Technology program are eligible for a variety of jobs, including Energy Auditors, Engineering Technicians, and Sustainability Specialists. However, the most obvious role for our graduates is that of Wind Turbine Service Technician.

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The Clean Jobs Index (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Cleantech)

“Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face.” ~General Jack D. Ripper, in Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

I wonder if any of the same folks who laugh at Gen. Ripper’s ridiculous remarks in Dr. Strangelove subscribe to any of the ridiculous Agenda 21 conspiracy theories? There are those who are trying to demonize cleantech jobs and the whole sustainability movement as some sort of socialist plot. Rather than laugh at them, I’m hoping we can help them to stop worrying and love cleantech.

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What Makes a Job “Green?”

Solar panels don't install themselves. Wind turbines don’t manufacture themselves. Homes and buildings don’t retrofit or weatherize themselves. In our industrial society, trees don’t even PLANT themselves, anymore. Real people must do all of that work.

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Turbine Technicians (not Cowboys)

If you’ve seen The Weather Channel’s Turbine Cowboys you may have a somewhat exaggerated view of the life of a typical wind turbine technician. Call it a “Reality TV” effect, akin to the “CSI Effect.” It’s not that wind energy technology work is not exciting—we happen to train wind energy technicians, and we have a 20-foot climbing tower built right into our school. But we train our technicians, both male and female, how to be safe—not how to be cowboys.

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Solar Business Issues: Solar Power Jobs and the future

Ecotech Institute grads start cool green careers

I’ve been doing a great deal of thinking about the future lately. I’m in good company; our inaugural class of Ecotech Institute students just graduated with associate degrees in programs such as Solar Energy Technology and Wind Energy Technology. These visionaries are not only full of hopes and dreams about the future, they are getting actual job offers from cool places to work like Hawaii, Colorado and Texas.

Continue reading at Solar Power World!

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What Does a “Manager – Environmental Operations” Do, Anyway?

It occurs to me that I haven’t introduced myself properly. I am Education Corporation of America’s (ECA) Manager – Environmental Operations, based at our corporate office in Birmingham, Alabama. But what does that job title mean? What are environmental operations, and just how does one go about managing them? I believe the tale of how my position was created will help answer all of these questions.

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Ecotech: It Means Jobs

Last week I had the honor and pleasure of attending the first graduation at our Ecotech Institute in Aurora (Denver), Colorado. Two years ago, 41 visionaries believed us when we told them the future was green with jobs in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors. Our future LEED Gold campus with its solar trees, wind turbines, and electric vehicle charger was still a year away when these students signed on. Last week, each graduate received a visionary award in addition to his or her diploma. This was our way of saying, “Thank you for trusting us in this shared vision.”

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Getting Cleantech Done

We hear a lot about the cleantech (renewable, sustainable, green) economy these days. There is a daily barrage of articles talking about jobs and cleantech from both ends of the political spectrum. But regardless of your feelings about Solyndra and the future of solar panels, or whether or not you’re following the battle of Donald Trump’s planned luxury golf resort in Scotland vs. the proposed nearby offshore wind farm, there is an aspect of the green economy that almost no one is talking about. That is, who is actually going to do the work?

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Getting Green Done: Wind Energy Technology

Ecotech’s Wind Energy Technology 2-year degree program is designed to prepare students for careers in renewable energy, including wind energy technicians. Learn more. Ecotech’s Wind Energy Technology 2-year degree program is designed to prepare students for careers in renewable energy, including wind energy technicians. Learn more.

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