Puna Geothermal to support workforce development program in Hawaii

Volcanic vent on the Big Island in Hawaii, U.S. (source: flickr/ geofiz, creative commons)
Francisco Rojas 6 Nov 2014

The Puna Geothermal Venture will invest for five years in a workforce development program in Hawaii Community College that is set to launch in January 2015.

According to local news, the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) has committed $12,000 a year for five years to a new workforce development program at Hawaii Community College (HCC). The Process Technology and Industrial Maintenance (PTIM) program will address needed skills and knowledge gaps on Hawaii Island.

HCC’s program will be based on the highly successful PTIM curriculum at Leeward Community College on Oahu and is set to launch in January 2015.

“The PTIM job readiness program at HCC provides incredible value to the local community,” said Michael Kaleikini, Director for Hawaiian Affairs for Ormat, PGV’s parent company. “As the world’s industrial landscape shifts to rely more on technology, the local workforce needs to be knowledgeable in specific processes. HCC’s new PTIM program will help prepare the next generation of workers for operations such as PGV and others.”

PGV’s contribution will support the program for five years and help fund scholarships for outstanding students in the PTIM program.

PGV has also been invited to participate on the PTIM Advisory Committee, which will oversee how the curricula is crafted and implemented as well as ensure that the program is sustainable and represents the closest experience a student has to actual industry operations.

Rick DuVoisin, training coordinator; Ronald Quesada, operations manager; and Abel Costa, maintenance manager, will represent PGV on the advisory group; they have participated in initial meetings and provided recommendations to create a high-quality program.

“The PTIM program represents a life-changing opportunity for many families,” said Noreen Yamane, Chancellor for HCC. “It will teach local residents the skillsets they need to obtain a good-paying job in the growing industrial operations sector and set them up to work for companies such as PGV. PGV’s support of the PTIM program is an excellent example of corporate citizenship and community involvement.”

PGV is following Ormat’s model in Nevada, where it works with the University of Nevada, Reno in several departments with support through internships and consulting, including the Renewable Energy Center at the Redfield Campus.

Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald