New Minnesota Center for Electrification Opportunity aims to grow workforce in electric power industry
The University of Minnesota Technological Leadership Institute (TLI), in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Toro, Polaris and Design Ready Controls, recently announced the launch of the Minnesota Center for Electrification Opportunity (MN CEO).
With funding from DEED, the pioneering consortium will lead workforce development training in electrification — the process of replacing fossil fuels with more sustainable, electric technologies — and act as a bridge between academia and industry.
“The conversion of fossil fuel technologies to electric and hybrid power systems promises to be a decades-long process requiring enormous talent and organization,” said Allison Hubel, a professor in the U of M College of Science and Engineering and director of TLI. “MN CEO is going to be a very important player in building the electrification infrastructure in the state and nation.”
According to the research firm Market.us, the global electrification market was worth an estimated $74.2 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow to about $170.4 billion by 2032, which will result in an increased demand for a stronger workforce in the industry.
“MN CEO is an incredibly strategic resource for our region," said Andrew Chasse, vice president of strategy & partnerships at Polaris. "As electrification continues to advance across industries, the need for talent and training grows, and this program will help Minnesota become a national player in creating a robust future workforce for companies locally and beyond.”
The new center is already working to engage stakeholders and develop a long-term vision to accelerate the adoption of electrification technologies in Minnesota. These efforts will position Minnesota both for sustained economic growth and leadership in the renewable energy and electric power fields.
"We're thrilled to be working in this space with our partners in business and academia," said John Hurst, senior director at the Toro Company. "This is a great opportunity to expand the state's capabilities in electrification, and The Toro Company is proud to be a part of it."
"MN CEO is going to be a game-changer for our region," said John Hacker, chief financial officer of Design Ready Controls. "Minnesota has both the infrastructure and the educated workforce to quickly become a leader in electrification. Getting involved at an early stage was important to us.”
Visit the MN CEO website to learn more about its inaugural Electroposium event in October 2023.