The CleanTech Alliance is conducting a series of member profiles to highlight our new and renewing members.
Our first profile is on the Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy at Centralia College. We interviewed current Interim Director Terry Cox about what the Center of Excellence is looking forward to about their new membership to the CleanTech Alliance.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your company and what you‘re currently working on
A: The Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy (located at Centralia College) is a statewide resource that represents the interests of the energy industry, and our labor partners, within the Washington State Community and Technical College system.
We exist to narrow the gap between employers’ demands for a highly skilled workforce and the colleges’ ability to supply work-ready graduates. We convene industry and labor to help drive workforce development initiatives — and coordinate community college resources after industry and labor set the direction.
Currently we are looking for a new leader for this organization and working on a strategic plan update. We’ve engaged a local contractor to help with creating a jobs report to help with the strategic planning.
Once the new Director is hired, they will be set up to launch into some new projects. The timing is perfect, as it appears there will be some great grant opportunities coming up. In the past, the Center has been the lead institution for some large grants targeted at workforce development, and the results have been excellent. We hope to do that again!
Q: What was the biggest benefit of joining the CleanTech Alliance for your organization?
A:It’s another way for us to tie into the Clean Energy community and hear about what is happening. We try to decipher what the future workforce needs are going to be – a tricky business – and then gather information from our business and labor partners on what skills need to be taught so that we can pass that along to our community and technical college partners.
Q: What are you looking forward to in 2021 for your organization?
A: I am excited to get the permanent Director on board, and to get the Center settled into a new space on Centralia College’s campus. The Center is working with many partners who are doing exciting, innovative, and forward-looking work, and I can’t wait to see what projects we get into this coming year.
A:I am looking forward to attending my first Zappy Hour in the near future!
Q: Do you have any other comments you wish to share at this time about your experience with the CleanTech Alliance?
A:The Clean Tech Alliance is already proving a valuable partner in steering me toward resources and making connections with individuals that I would not otherwise get to meet. Thanks for inviting us to join!