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Efficiency Exchange Breakout: Professional Development Challenges in the 21st Century

Created 5/7/2013 by Douglas Tsoi
Updated 5/15/2013 by Rosemary DiCandilo
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Here's my pre-session discussion query: In the last 30 years, the NW energy efficiency has become a profession.  What does it mean to be part of a profession?  To have a craft?


Professional Development Challenges Energy Efficiency Faces in the 21st Century

A generation of EE utility staff is retiring and taking its knowledge and experience with it. How can we preserve our core competencies and institutional knowledge as staff retires and develop new skills and abilities as the field changes? Are there ways to leverage existing expertise and skills within utilities, like good mentorship and engaging collaborative learning that are both effective and cost-effective?

Presenters:
Tom Eckman, NW Power and Conservation Council
Fred Gordon, Energy Trust of Oregon
Bruce Folsom, Avista Utilities
Mary Smith, Snohomish PUD
Justin Holzgrove, Mason County PUD #3

Moderator: Douglas Tsoi, NEEA

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Comments (2)
Rosemary DiCandilo on 05/09/13 on 02:05 PM (Pacific Time)
An important topic that we need to address.  A formal mentoring is one technique deserving of discussion. 

I wonder what techniques, if any, might also work in the market as well?  Could social media be leveraged to overcome communication barriers between competitors?
Rosemary DiCandilo on 05/15/13 on 01:56 PM (Pacific Time)
Session Notes:  "What were you doing in 1980?  Or" Dig the well before you are thirsty"
-Out of 125 people, approximately 9 had been there since 1980
-mentoring relationships were honored
-about 20 people are retiring within 5 years- about 500 years of knowledge leaving NW Industry
-Energy Efficiency industry constantly changes  Swim or Die

-most successful and skill sets needed are blended sets of technical plus social interaction and relationship-based, continual learner
-Need persistence, patience good humor and determination to work in this industry-change is hard but it is growth
- industry needs more people than just engineers; be a jack of all trades but get expert in niche, build a network and rely on them.  No one can know everything in this industry.
-schools need to know this

-New Emerging Leaders forum starting.  Bring problem and experts help you:  young asked old, small asked big, local asked regional, public asked privates.  It is collective thinking and learning in an informal environment.  Learn from each other.  Meets quarterly.  If want more info, contact Douglas Tsoi at dtsoi@neea.org.

-John MaClain first asked how to help customers 6 years ago.  Has grown the PGE educational program to 2,000 participants a year.    Customers, utility staff and trade allies are all asking for training.  Lines blurring in audience now.  This training available for other utilities:  for more info www.energyeducationcenter.com.

Do Succession planning now!  NEEA issuing RFP soon to determine utilities training needs.

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Sector: Non-Sector Specific
Function: Training, Non-Function Specific
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Commercial Sector Education & Training

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