Shoreline Clean Energy Technology Program Helps Students Land Real-World Jobs

A Clean Energy Tech student interviews with Reeves Clippard,
CEO A & R Solar, and Stephen Gerritson, Vice President
Economic Development Council Seattle & King County.

Shoreline Community College’s Clean Energy Technology (CET) program not only teaches students the skills that make them desirable to industry employers, but it also offers a class that helps them to land real-world jobs.

In Louise Petruzzella’s Career Seminar course, students get to practice their interviewing skills on real employers in the clean energy industry during a mock interview session. Industry professionals donate their time to vet the students’ skills and teach them what can help set them apart from other applicants.

Professionals who participated in the mock sessions this past summer included Reeves Clippard, CEO of A & R Solar, Stephen Gerritson, Vice President Economic Development Council for Seattle & King County, Julie Wilcox, Sales Engineer & Designer for Puget Sound Solar, and Mara L White, Product Manager of OutBack Power Technologies.

“It’s a testament to how much these professionals care about the success of the students that they’re willing to share their time in this manner,” Petruzzella said. “And the Career Seminar course only serves to strengthen Shoreline’s stellar relationship with and reputation within the CET community as employers get a firsthand look at the caliber of student we produce.”

The students are so stellar that one landed a job from his performance during the mock interview sessions. When Clippard of A&R Solar asked the student, a military veteran, why Clippard should hire him the student replied, “because I’m hungry.” That passion rocked the room and prompted Clippard to invite the student for a real interview. The student is now employed as a PV installer at A&R.

“Students come to a professional/technical program because they want to go to work,” said Petruzzella. “The CET program’s career seminar can help them do just that.”

Though not everyone landed a job out of the class, students still walked away with an invaluable networking opportunity and advice on how to make the most of their next foray into the job market.

Riley Sheimo, a CET Career Seminar student, said “I am surprised at how much more prepared I feel to enter the professional sector soon. Usually when I’m done with a class I put my books and notes away, and rarely if ever go back to them. With this class, however, I have a resume, cover letter, LinkedIn account and valuable knowledge of how to ‘nail’ an interview.”

“With the only CET program in the Puget Sound region, Shoreline students already have a leg up entering the industry,” said Petruzzella. “The Career Seminar class is just another way we help our students capitalize on success.”