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Alternative / Renewable Energy
East Bay #1 Nationally in Alternative Energy Investment

Basic research for energy sources and applications has a strong epicenter in the East Bay, with three national laboratories and the headquarters of Chevron. Additionally, more than $900M has been funneled into the East Bay’s Energy Biosciences Institute and Joint Bio Energy Institute. Commercialization of energy technologies is highly significant, with private East Bay companies attracting $283M in the second quarter of 2008. This sum leads the nation, and is 51.5% of all venture capital invested nationally in alternative energy during that quarter.

The Workforce Need

The cycle of technology commercialization is occurring faster than can be supported by the existing workforce. In addition, retirements within the Boomer Generation are expected to leave significant energy workforce gaps. One example is that 43% of PG&E’s linemen will be eligible to retire in the next five years. If the East Bay is to leverage investment into business formation and jobs, the pace of workforce development needs to be accelerated.


At an August 13, 2008 Summit, more than 100 participants engaged in the launch of a regional workforce strategy for the Energy Industry. Led by the Tri-Valley Business Council, the Summit yielded 40 volunteers that are creating and executing this strategy.

These volunteers are supporting the development of pathways through high school, post secondary, and the Workforce Investment Board to deliver approximately 800 new workers specifically educated for green economy careers over the next three years. Driving this effort with the Business Council are CSU East Bay, Chabot-Las Positas Community College District, PG&E and Sandia National Laboratories. Significant partners include the Tri-Valley K-12 school districts, the cities of Livermore and Pleasanton, Alameda County’s Workforce Investment Board, and 16 energy-related companies.

Proposed investment is $825,000 to launch the career pathways and related programs. Annual operating costs are paid through the normal funding mechanisms available to K-12 schools, community colleges, and state universities. To launch the proposed pathways, investment per graduate is $847 at the high school level, and an average of $1,083 for post-secondary levels.

The Case (PDF)

Becoming Involved

Please Contact:

Jim Caldwell, Chair – Tri-Valley Business Council Education Partners
(925) 292-2308