FORT PIERCE, Fla. — As the demand for engineers continues to soar, Indian River State College in Fort Pierce is partnering with power utility companies to train students about the fast-changing technology in the industry.
Indian River State College established a nuclear curriculum in response to the immediate need of Florida Power & Light to replace retiring workers, update skills of the existing workforce and create a career ladder for incumbent workers and additional opportunities for professional development and advancement.
The Electrical Power Technology program has the following options: instrumentation and control and electrical specialization, mechanical and radiation protection.
An FPL contractor, BHI Energy has employed Indian River State College students from each graduating class of the Electrical Power Technology group over the last two years.
BHI Energy often conducts interviews before students graduate from the Electrical Power Technology program.
The full-time design engineers within the BHI Energy distribution department improve FPL's physical power line distribution system by planning for pole replacements, shortening the span between poles and taking power lines underground.
"The Electrical Power Technology program at Indian River State College gave me the foundation I needed for a career in electrical utility distribution services," said Chad Forde, a recent graduate from Indian River State College. "My day-to-day job builds on all the coursework taught in the classroom, and the fundamental principles we use were thoroughly covered in school, from how electrical power is distributed to the economics of what drives the industry."
Indian River State College prepares students for the distribution designer role at BHI Energy with a wide variety of courses, including "Transformers and Power Distribution" and "Introduction to Electronics."
"Without those founding principles I would not feel as prepared for the work I do today," said Forde. "Being able to have a solid understanding of the transformer and power distribution side of this work has benefited me greatly."
BHI has also established part-time positions for students still in the program to gain experience and work towards a full-time position after graduation.
"As the transformer and power distribution field continues to experience rapid growth and technological evolution, I feel I made a smart choice in choosing the Indian River State College program to help me prepare for a successful career," said Forde.
For more information about the Electrical Power Technology program at Indian River State College, click here.
To find out about the jobs available at BHI Energy, click here.