EnergyNET Builds Kansas' Energy Sector Job Skills
Kansas is giving its energy workers an edge over those in surrounding states by providing a new education program with targeted skills training.
EnergyNET, also known as the Energy Network of Education and Training, delivers the education and training needed by the energy industry and ties a statewide network of community and technical colleges together to provide specialized training for energy employees.
Fort Hays State University Coordinates EnergyNET Program
Dr. Chris Crawford, assistant provost for quality management at FHSU, says partnering colleges will focus on occupational skills, such as line worker training, as well as the more advanced skills needed for smart grid technology.
Fort Hays State is drawing on its experience with distance learning to help partnering colleges build their own online courses.
Industry Needs Shape EnergyNET
Kathy Hund, director of workforce education and training for the Kansas Department of Commerce and Kansas Board of Regents, says the education initiative offers a hybrid delivery model for education.
Potential workers who don’t want to travel out of their region can take advantage of distance-learning courses at local schools.
Cooperation between colleges saves money for new programs by providing students broader access to established courses with expensive equipment – such as climbing poles – that teach skills necessary for line workers.
“Industry needs are front and center,” Hund said. “Industry drives EnergyNET.”
EnergyNET organizers have met with energy leaders to determine what skills are needed. As the coordinating entity, Fort Hays State will work with the state’s 26 independent community and technical colleges to enhance existing programs.
Participation by colleges is voluntary. Hund hopes EnergyNET will result in more efficient use of limited public funds and increase training opportunities to Kansans.