Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 5, 2012

W.Va. developing tech classes for energy industry


Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia is developing courses for career technical students in advanced energy, power and engineered systems.

The project is aimed at meeting work force demands for the growing energy industry and is being led by the state Department of Education's Office of Career and Technical Innovation.

Instructors are working with industry and post-secondary representatives to create the courses. A Department of Education news release said writing teams were meeting in Morgantown on Friday and Saturday to share their experiences.

American Electric Power engineers have worked with the state since the project's inception last year. They're being joined by faculty from Marshall University, West Virginia University Institute of Technology, West Virginia University at Parkersburg and Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College, along with oil and gas industry representatives.

Education representatives from Ohio and Pennsylvania also were helping with the project.

"When so many groups come together for a common purpose, our students will no doubt benefit," said state schools Superintendent Jorea Marple.

West Virginia is among 12 states selected by the Southern Regional Education Board to tackle the "Preparation for Tomorrow" curriculum for career technical centers. Each state must develop four standards-based career technical courses in high-demand, skill and wage career areas unique to its economic needs and opportunities. The course specifics will then be shared among the states.

West Virginia picked the energy and power curriculum for secondary schools to use in preparing high school students for potential careers in those fields. The courses will then be available at career technical centers statewide.

The statement said among the courses being developed by other states are aerospace engineering, construction design, food and nutritional sciences, health careers and renewable energy.