DTE and Consumers has plans to brighten up some futures and some resumes and jumpstart young people’s interest in careers in energy.
It’s asking on high school- and college-age kids to come work for the company after graduation and providing education avenues to encourage them.
There’s a good reason.
In Michigan approximately 50 percent of workers in the energy sector will retire over the next five to seven years, making it vital to train the next generation of employees, DTE says.
“It’s a well-known fact that our workforce is aging, especially in our industry,” DTE President and COO Jerry Norcia tells by WZZM TV 13. “I think the average age is mid-to-late 40s.” He says there will be openings for engineers, accountants, analysts, lawyers and IT professionals, and in the field for pipe fitters, welders and linemen.
DTE has partnered with Consumers Energy and many colleges and universities in Michigan to set up internships and co-ops for interested parties and make sure they have the right skills. University partners currently include Grand Valley State University, Oakland University, Wayne State University and Henry Ford Community College, according to WZZM.
Collectively, DTE and Consumers provide more than 600 internship and co-op jobs for high school and college students.
The training for some potential new hires starts early.
Back in July DTE Energy and the DTE Energy Foundation announced a student intern/co-op program that provides opportunities for 1,000 young adults and teens to obtain the skills and knowledge to fill jobs in Michigan. The program runs throughout the year and hiring increases in the spring to fill summer jobs.
The company typically employs an average of 400 students each summer to work in the gas and electric businesses as well as in engineering, information technology, human resources, supply chain and communications. Over the past 11 years, more than 3,700 students have been hired into these programs.
Beyond DTE’s student programs, since 2003, the DTE Energy Foundation has donated more than $4.5 million to support summer employment initiatives, impacting more than 2,000 young people. This year, the foundation provided nearly $900,000 in grants to fund about 600 work opportunities with more than 50 nonprofits in and around Detroit and greater Michigan from June through August by partnering with:
- Grow Detroit’s Young Talent to provide jobs for nearly 400 people between the ages of 14 and 24 who are working in Detroit
- Greening of Detroit to fund 20 summer jobs for youth in Detroit
- City Connect Detroit to support 75 summer jobs for youth in Pontiac, Inkster, Ypsilanti and Highland Park
- On the west side of the state, United Way Lakeshore to pay wages for 100 youth enrolled in the summer program in Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Kent, Mecosta, and Lake Counties
“The DTE Energy Foundation sees this as an investment in the future of our state. It’s an investment in our children, businesses and communities,” says Faye Nelson, vice president of DTE Energy and board chair and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. “Through the summer jobs initiative, we are able to provide education, real-life experiences and opportunities to young adults that positively impact their lives as well as the communities where we live and serve.”