IEC Chesapeake, part of a national trade association that represents 3,000 electrical contractors in 60 chapters across the United States, in collaboration with Edison Academy, Alexandria, Va., successfully rolled out a series of renewable energy presentations through grant funding awarded by Dominion Virginia Power in October 2010 for its Renewable Energy Awareness Project. There were a total of five one-hour sessions offered on March 8, March 10, and March 15 with over 450 students, teachers, administrators, and staff in attendance, hosted at Edison Academy, where students come from 13 different high schools for career and technical education classes.

Students of Edison Academy were provided with valuable insight regarding renewable energy, specifically solar and wind energies. "This project provided a perfect opportunity to enlighten our future leaders about the emerging trends and technologies in the green industry and how such developments promote a cleaner and healthier environment," says Mervin Munoz, business development representative for IEC Chesapeake. “This workforce development initiative was an excellent way to deliver the message about career opportunities in the emerging green market both in construction and other crossover professions,e.g, accounting, business management, consulting, and research and development, to name a few.”

The different classes participating in these presentations included agriculture, animal science, auto collision, biology, chemistry, computer systems technology, electrical construction, French, HVAC, information systems, JROTC, math and science, network administration, Oracle, and web design with electrical students from the Arlington Career Center also participating during the last session.

"The Renewable Energy Awareness Project addresses core elements of the academy’s mission statement to include ‘exploring career options’ for our students,” says Brad Rickel, administrator of Edison Academy.

Team members Chad Laibly, division manager, and Stan Lassiter, general manager, of Continuum Energy Solutions, Alexandria, Va., facilitated dynamic presentations using the Megatech Solar & Wind Hybrid Classroom Trainer to demonstrate the concepts of solar and wind power discussed during the sessions.

“Using the Megatech training system was an excellent resource to provide a visual illustration of the mechanics behind solar- and wind-generated power — it helped to keep the students engaged throughout the presentation,” says Lassiter.

“Continuum Energy Solutions is grateful for the privileged opportunity to address the students of Edison Academy, and the types of intuitive questions that they posed were quite impressive,” says Laibly.

IEC Chesapeake recognizes Edison Academy for its partnership in the Renewable Energy Awareness Project, Continuum Energy Solutions for its technical support, and Dominion Virginia Power for selecting us as one of the award recipients for our grassroots effort in green awareness.