Imagine-being a high school senior and getting a one-of-a-kind tour of the career you’re thinking about devoting your life to. That is exactly what Holt seniors got when they toured the Lansing Board of Water and Light for Careers in Energy week.
“I’m really interested in renewable energy, I want to be a solar panel technician, so getting into a field of energy was definitely a goal of mine,” said Jared Wyzywany, a senior in Holt’s EIF class.
The Electrical Industry Fundamentals course is an elective class. Wyzywany and his 11 classmates are exploring the energy career field.
“Right now I have a lot of options,” explained Wyzywany. “So I’m just trying to narrow it down to see what’s easiest and what’s best.”
One way to do that is to tour the Lansing Board of Water and Light and Lansing Community College. That way, through a partnership with Power 4 America, students get to see everyone in action — from line workers to electricians and chemists.
“They’ve taken STEM courses and they’ve signed up for this class because they’re curious about it,” explained Lucas Schrauben, Director of Secondary Education at Holt High School. “Today it becomes a little more serious for them and they can see what this is like in person.”
“People are retiring from the energy industry and the problem is the students that are graduating from high school or college don’t know that this is a potential career path,” said Mark Frantz.
Mark teaches the EIF class and students learn how energy is generated.
“I like teaching the course because it gives kids an alternate path that they didn’t know existed before,” said Frantz.
His students say they’re grateful to know that alternative career paths exist.
“It definitely is male-dominated,” said Grace Mullbauer, when asked about the role of a female in the energy field. “I feel like it kind of has an aspect of some people might feel uncomfortable in, but then again, a lot of people are looking for more female perspectives in the industry, too. So I feel like that’s kind of an advantage.”
The BWL says that advantage is something they welcome. With a lot of energy workers getting ready to retire, they say they welcome new ideas and new perspectives.
Especially from those who may potentially hold those crucial careers in the energy field.
“We’re always looking to welcome the next generation into our workforce and to give them the opportunity to get in before they graduate I think is immeasurable,” said Amy Adamy, the Communications Manager with the BWL.