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Green Mountain Power Partners With Rutland Colleges To Find Future Employees

Rutland County’s four colleges believe Green Mountain Power’s new energy innovation center can be a powerful educational tool for their students The colleges and utility announced a unique new collaboration that GMP officials hope will also help them find future employees.

Green Mountain Power President Mary Powell says their new partnership has many goals.

“You can’t talk about innovation without talking about education and without having links to education - so the piece that’s in it for us is we’ve always seen it as a really important corner stone to get to that much broader value proposition for Rutland,” says Powell.

She says GMP plans to create more comprehensive internships and job shadowing programs for area college students interested in renewable energy, and believes other new energy-related businesses will follow suit.

Powell says about 40% of GMP’s workforce is nearing retirement and while she says some of those positions will not be refilled, the utility will need skilled new workers and she says programs like the this will help them find them.

Joyce Judy, president of the Community College of Vermont, says that’s good news for students.

“One of the things you read a lot today is that there are a lot of really good jobs and a lot of people who are looking for those jobs and how do you make sure that there’s a match?   That the courses and the things that we’re offering is a match for what Green Mountain Power is looking for and having this kind of relationship really does help cement that and so this is exciting,” says Judy

Besides internships and job shadowing programs, Green Mountain Power plans to host a series of lectures at their Energy Innovation Center - open to the public - featuring local professors and teachers who can talk about energy research, renewable power and efficiency.  Similarly, GMP employees may give energy related lectures at the four colleges.  

David Wolk, President of Castleton State College says collaborating with other area schools is unusual but he says it makes sense.

“What’s different about it is that we’re all collaborating. There’s a wealth of new ideas with the intellectual capital of four colleges working together and an industry that’s interested in educating young people,” Wolk says.

He and others say getting more college students into Rutland for lectures, internships, and other events is also good for Rutland - something city officials are equally excited about.

Utility officials say they hope to launch the new effort this fall when the new energy innovation center is scheduled to open.

Wolk admits the concept is still evolving.  No money has been invested for the effort and the four colleges have yet to figure out how much they’ll work together.

“But it’s promising,” Wolk says.

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