In late 2014, representatives from Black Hills Energy began discussions with the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) about starting an energy workforce consortium for South Dakota. Subsequently, the discussion broadened to include Otter Tail Power, NorthWestern Energy, Montana-Dakota Utilities, Basin Electric, and Xcel Energy.
In early 2015, the group discussed the advantages of including North Dakota in the Consortium since many of the companies had service territory in both states. The Dakotas Energy Workforce Consortium (DEWC), representing both states, was chartered during its first full consortium meeting April 14-15, 2015, in Mitchell, SD. Co-chairs from Black Hills and Otter Tail Power agreed to lead the consortium.
Additional attendees at the kick-off meeting included the South Dakota Rural Electric Coop, representatives from the South Dakota Governor’s Office, and four community colleges that the industry deemed key to Consortium success: Mitchell Technical Institute, Lake Area Technical Institute, Bismarck State College, and North Dakota State College of Science at Wahpeton.
Dakotas Energy Workforce Consortium Contacts:
Heather Burns, Co-Chair – NorthWestern Energy
Jeff Endrizzi, Co-Chair – Otter Tail Power Company
Doug Greenway, Project Manager – Mitchell Technical Institute