OSUIT Aims at Bringing Awareness to Power Plant Careers

ELECTRIC EDUCATION: Dozens of people take part in the 2011 Power Up Road Show to tour local power plants, learn industry job skills, and find out about this growing career opportunity.

Courtesy OSUIT

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 30 percent of power operators currently employed will soon retire. Oklahoma State University’s Institute of Technology (OSUIT) partnered with Public Service Company of Oklahoma () and Calpine Oneta Energy to bring awareness to these potentially high-paying job openings.

In 2008, power operators earned an average of $58,470. An Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Power Plant Technology increases employability. In fact, according to exit interviews with OSUIT power plant program graduates, 100 percent of graduates are immediately employed.

To bring more awareness to this growing employment field, those interested can attend one of two free power plant tours titled, Power Up Road Shows. These events are open to adults who are interested in making a career change, high school students in technology centers, high school students in 10th through 12th grades, and parents and educators interested in learning about outstanding career opportunities and parents interested in learning more about outstanding career opportunities.

A few people this might involve include those who enjoy math, are considering careers in engineering, or enjoy working with their hands. Also, military veterans who have Military Occupational Specialty ratings as boilermen or construction electricians or who have responsibilities of controlling, maintaining and monitoring turbines and generators, would find this to be a great career transition.

During the “Power Up Road Shows,” participants will take tours of power plants and hear presentations about career opportunities and salaries and as learn about the required skills and education for careers as power plant technicians and operators.

Kate Pittack, OSUIT’s director of special events and services, says, “A benefit of the road shows is that the events are held at the actual businesses, giving participants the opportunity to visit with employees and see the actual work environments to gain a better understanding of what these jobs are actually like.”

OSUIT “Power Up Road Shows” scheduled in March include:
PSO’s Northeastern Power Station Open House in Oologah – March 27, 6 p.m., at 7300 East Highway 88 in Oologah
?Calpine Oneta Energy Center in Broken Arrow – March 29, 6 p.m. at 25142 East 105th Street South in Broken Arrow.

Representatives from OSUIT will also be in attendance at the “Power Up Road Shows” to share information about admissions and financial aid opportunities. Free food is provided at each event. For more information on the open houses or to register to attend, visit www.osuit.edu and click on the Power Up Open House link below the events calendar. Or, register by contacting Kate Pittack at (918) 293-5220 or kate.pittack@okstate.edu.

Updated 03-26-2012

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