As a growing emphasis on sustainable energy sweeps through the country, Westchester Community College has a plan to follow suit—and help both Westchester employers and employees capitalize on the trend. Thanks to the college’s “Bright Futures” set of academic programs, students can now train for careers in the energy industry and related fields while receiving hands-on experience and employment opportunities. The program’s name implies a dual meaning: students can attain degrees that ensure that we have the “bright” power of modern society, but they’re also entering a field with plentiful job openings.
A two-year grant from Con Edison, starting in 2010, enabled WCC to expand its sustainability training curriculum, which includes additional library resources and several guest speakers. The “Bright Futures” program aims to build upon the college’s success with sustainability training and prepare students for careers that are in a higher demand now than ever before. Students can study to become energy technicians and operators, environmental policy specialists, or biochemists—just to name a few. “Bright Futures” has recently expanded to offer fields of study such as Civil Technology, Electrical Technology, Energy Systems, Engineering Science, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, and Mechanical Technology.
Graduates from these WCC programs have the opportunity to transfer to major four-year institutions or go directly to work. For those that chose to work right away, the college estimates that 66% work in Westchester County. They’ve been able to find jobs with both large corporations like Con Edison and IBM, as well as smaller local businesses such as Arthur R. Breuer Professional Engineers (ARBPE) and Fenbar Precision Mechanists.
Interested in your own “Bright Future”? WCC has teamed up with local energy companies for a “Bright Futures” Careers Open House on July 16. Representatives from Con Edison, New York Power Authority, and Solar City will be on hand to meet with prospective students and discuss their need for skilled technicians and engineers. For more information or to RSVP, click here or call 914-606-6679.