Whether it’s young elementary students who discover their interests at Junior Achievement, middle and high school First Tech Challenge robot teams, or apprentices who have found their way to MidAmerican to advance their skills and begin their career, we’re always looking for ways to attract, train and recruit skilled talent.
As part of MidAmerican Energy CARES, our corporate citizenship program, Education/STEM is one of our five pillars of giving. The future of our region’s economy and prosperity lies in our students and their classrooms. And, we’re proud to support educational efforts around our service territory to help further their impact.
FOR YOUNG STUDENTS
We are a longtime supporter of Junior Achievement (JA) in our service territory. As partners of JA of the Midlands, Heartland, Eastern Iowa and Central Iowa, we help engage students in real-world, simulated work experiences and teach financial literacy.
Both JA of the Heartland and JA of Central Iowa offer in-facility student engagement through BizTown, an “experiential learning center [that] exists to inspire responsible business owners, consumers and citizens,” while the other chapters engage through in-classroom instruction. We recently took the opportunity to revamp our MidAmerican booth in JA BizTown of Central Iowa to reflect some of our modern workspaces and provide students a better sense of what it’s like to work with us.
And, in JA of Central Iowa’s new Finance Park, junior high and high school students can learn how to manage personal finance, something that states across the country have pushed for in school curriculum. We also helped build a new Career Exploration Center in the Finance Park, which gives students the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of careers to figure out a field of interest.
We’re also happy to have opportunities to provide in-classroom instruction and conduct group activities for JA through our CARES program.
FIRST Tech Challenge
FIRST Tech Challenge works to inspire young students to think like engineers by challenging them with designing, building and coding robots. Each year, we help high school students across our service territory be a part of FIRST Tech Challenge by paying each team’s member fee. Ultimately, the challenge is that the team has a series of actions they must teach their robot to do, and they compete against other teams. But, it is more than just engineering. The students also engage with their community by going out and raising funds for their team and working to earn awards. We’re happy to not only support approximately 60 teams across our service territory monetarily, but our employees also volunteer at challenges and act as judges when asked as part of our CARES program.
Waterloo Career Center Donation
In 2019, we donated $100,000 to Waterloo Schools for their Waterloo Career Center’s electrical construction trades program. Students can take part in a learning environment that provides the skills they need to work as an electrical apprentice, electrician and a lineman. We’ve made similar donations in Council Bluffs and Sioux City, as well as in smaller communities like MMCRU High School in Marcus, Iowa. We are proud to help prepare the next generation of skilled electrical workers. See more in our Energy Source video.
Avenue Scholars Partnership
In 2021, we announced our partnership with Omaha-based Avenue Scholars to bring their internship and career program to Des Moines Public Schools. Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, the program will start accepting students and providing coaching and support services to area high school students.
“MidAmerican is proud to connect a proven program like Avenue Scholars to students in central Iowa who – with some additional support and resources – can find opportunities in high demand and fulfilling careers,” Kathryn Kunert, Vice President, Economic Connections and Integration, at MidAmerican said. “Not only will this program have lasting impact on many students’ lives, it will positively expand our future workforce while creating a talent pipeline for organizations like ours to draw from.”
See more in our official press release announcing the partnership.
FOR COLLEGE/POST-GRAD STUDENTS
Apprenticeships at the Training Center for Excellence
We provide Registered Apprenticeship programs that are essential to our business, including gas, electric and generation. Apprentices get the expert training they need to serve our 774,000 natural gas customers and 795,000 electric customers. Much of their hands-on experience takes place at our brand-new Training Center for Excellence, a state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor facility built specifically to serve apprenticeships and continuing education for our front-line team members.
For example, those training to be a line mechanic must first complete one year of line school and successfully complete our two-year apprenticeship program. They get to practice in realistic conditions in the training center so that they’re prepared to work in the field. Learn more about what it takes to be a line worker. Plus, look at our current job openings.
The Intern Experience
We also look for qualified and highly motivated students to fill corporate positions in Accounting and Finance, Communications, Engineering, Environmental, Human Resources and IT. They receive insight into a career in the energy industry and gain real-world experience working alongside employees doing meaningful work. Search our current job and internship opportunities.
Nacelle Donation at DMACC
In 2021, we donated a wind turbine nacelle to Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) as an addition to their new energy park. The nacelle is used to teach and engage college students in the impacts of renewable energy. Read what it’s like to work as a wind technician on one of our wind farms.
To sustainably meet the demands of our customers who expect safe, reliable and affordable energy while offsetting our impacts to the environment, the energy industry will undergo some of the most exciting transformations in its history. And the students of today will be stepping into high-demand energy careers in just a few short years to be part of the path forward – which is why helping educate them now is so important.
It will take passion, vision and a combination of human and technological talent to reach these major goals. We can’t wait to see the impact the future workforce will have!