The energy was flowing at the Lakeland Electric Power Academy Open House on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at Tenoroc High School.
It was four years ago (Fall 2008) that the Power Academy, a partnership between Lakeland Electric and the Polk County School Board, had its first class of students.
The launch of the program coincided with the opening of the new Tenoroc High School. Since its inception, 35 students have graduated from the program with key insights into many positions throughout the utility. Four program participants have gone on to begin their careers with Lakeland Electric.
There are currently 100 students enrolled in the Power Academy, many of them were on hand during the Open House with their families. Betsy Levingston, Director of Director of Training and Work Force Development for Lakeland Electric, said she was very pleased with the turnout this year and that it showed an increased interest and support for the program.
“It was great to have two of the four graduates who work for us now attend as well as an alumnus who have taken advantage of a turbine generator maintenance program that we introduced to students last year.”
The turnout could also be attributed to the fact that Lakeland Electric and Polk school officials are excited about a milestone that the Power Academy will reach at the end of this school year. Students who entered the Academy as a freshman four years ago are now seniors and will be recognized as the inaugural graduating class.
The many Lakeland Electric employees who support the program through job shadowing, conducting tours, speaking to classes, etc. were also present to celebrate this accomplishment.
The Lakeland Electric Power Academy is one of two power-related academies in the State of Florida that offers the Energy Industry Fundamentals curriculum. Lakeland Electric, a member of the Florida Energy Workforce Consortium, helped to develop that curriculum. Completion of the course and passing the assessment will earn students a nationally recognized industry certificate along with their NCCER industry certifications they currently earn.
Employees who have participated in activities for The Lakeland Electric Power Academy: