Governor signs Careers In Energy Week proclamation

Gov. Dave Heineman (front row, fourth from left), poses with representatives from SCC, Black Hills Energy Group, Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska Public Power District, and Lincoln Electric System during a signing ceremony proclaiming the week of Oct. 14-20 as Careers In Energy Week. John Pierce, chair of SCC’s Energy Generation Operations program, is on the far left. SCC students pictured are, front row, far right, Jayson Wallasky of Lincoln and (second from right) Renee Norton of Lincoln. Other SCC students are Justin Kramer of Lincoln (back row, far right) and Jim Frerichs of Dunbar (back row, middle).

Energy and its impact on our lives was the theme of a proclamation signed Wednesday at the Capitol by Gov. Dave Heineman.

John Pierce, chairman of Southeast Community College’s Energy Generation Operations program, witnessed the signing, along with students Jim Frerichs of Dunbar, and Jayson Wallasky, Renee Norton and Justin Kramer, all from Lincoln.

Heineman and Secretary of State John A. Gale signed the proclamation, designating the week of Oct. 14-20, 2013, as Careers In Energy Week.

SCC’s Energy Generation Operations program was invited to attend by industry partners Black Hills Energy, Nebraska Public Power District, Omaha Public Power District, and Lincoln Electric System. Four SCC student representatives also attended the signing.

Bret Atkins, human resource director at Black Hills Energy, accepted the proclamation on behalf of the group and explained that more than 50 percent of the current energy industry workforce will be eligible to retire in the next few years, leaving a large gap in manpower in one of the nation’s most critical infrastructure industries.

“Working with SCC’s Energy Generation Operations program, the partners are striving to fill this critical gap with highly paid operators in a variety of energy related businesses, including pipelines; nuclear power plants; fossil-fueled power plants; renewable energy facilities such as wind, hydro and solar; bio-fuels facilities, and many other related processing facilities,” Pierce said.

SCC’s Energy Generation Operations program is located on the Milford Campus. The program took in its first class in January 2011. The program has approximately 60 students. Nearly 100 percent of program graduates are employed with an average starting wage of between $21 and $24 per hour.

“Many graduates start at more than $30 per hour with companies that are very stable and offer extremely competitive pay and benefits,” Pierce said.

Persons interested in enrolling in the program are asked to contact Pierce at 402-761-8394 or A new class begins in January 2014.


For more information contact:
Stu Osterthun
Administrative Director of Public Information and Marketing