Skilled Workforce

A Skilled Workforce Powers Your Business

Skilled Workforce Ratings

Missouri’s workforce is skilled in both research and advanced manufacturing.  Because of its established industrial base and its education system, Missouri counts among its three million workers a great number who are ready to hit the ground running in any renewable energy enterprise.

Studies show that a local renewable energy industry in Missouri would create tens of thousands of jobs and provide substantial new sources of income for farmers.

A report by Brookings ranked Missouri 6th for solar photovoltaic jobs in 2010, 8th for growth of solar thermal jobs from 2003-2010, 7th for growth in wind jobs from 2003-2010, and 8th for jobs in biomass/biofuels in 2010.

Missouri Workforce Facts

  • Missouri colleges and universities grant over 4,000 degrees in engineering or engineering technology annually.
  • There are over 21,000 engineers employed in Missouri according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Missouri's workforce exceeds the populations of 19 other states, including neighboring Kansas, Arkansas, and Nebraska.
  • Twelve percent, or 318,650 of Missouri’s 2.67 million workers are employed in occupations relevant to the Energy Solutions industry.
  • Nearly 10% of Missouri's workforce is currently employed in manufacturing.

Education and Training

  • Missouri has 138 post-secondary, degree granting institutions.
  • Missouri ranks 15th nationwide for bachelor’s engineering degrees granted. More than 4,000 engineering degrees are awarded each year in the state, offering a steady pool of mechanical and electrical engineering graduates.

In February 2012, Exergonix Inc. announced a partnership with the University of Central Missouri and Summit Technology Academy to develop an "Innovation Campus" at the company's headquarters. The campus will serve as a cooperative learning environment for STEM- focused high school students.

Specialized Programs in Alternative Energy

University of Science and Technology (Rolla) — Missouri S&T’s Energy Research and Development Center is involved in grid stabilization and storage for green energy technologies

University of Missouri (Columbia) — MU’s Center for Sustainable Energy coordinates research, education, and commercialization for all renewables.

Washington University (St. Louis) — has the country’s only department of Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering, and it is also home to the International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability (I-CARES); a center founded in 2007 to foster research on energy, environment, and sustainability across several disciplines through collaborations with the international business community.

Crowder College (Neosho) — Home to the Missouri Alternative and Renewable Energy Technology (MARET) Center, recognized internationally for its contributions to the energy field. Crowder offers a Pre-Engineering Associate of Applied Science Degree, Associate of Arts with biofuels, solar, wind specialization and six alternative energy certificate tracks.

University of Central Missouri (Warrensburg) — UMC recently developed a new workforce program focused on Green/Sustainable Industries. The curriculum includes all “green” industry sectors and technician certification training.

Electrical Connection (St. Louis) — the Midwest’s largest resource for training electricians and communication technicians, training more than 1,200 IBEW apprentices and journeymen each year.

Mineral Area College (Park Hills) — offers both a Renewable Energy Technology Certificate and an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Southeast Missouri State University (Cape Girardeau) — offers a BS degree in Technology Management with Sustainable Energy Systems Management specialization.

St. Louis Community College (St. Louis) — Offers four accelerated training programs to retool workers for Energy Solutions Technician jobs.

Vatterotte College and Pinnacle Career Institute (Kansas City) — offer wind turbine technician training programs.

Building Operator Certification

What is Building Operator Certification (BOC)?

BOC Group
Some of the BOC graduates of the first training series, 
which ended in April 2006.

Building Operator Certification (BOC) is professional development training for operations and maintenance staff working in public, commercial and institutional buildings. The program offers a series of training courses on the energy and resource- efficient operation of buildings. Successfully completing these courses and their assigned projects qualifies individuals for certification awarded by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA).

What are the goals of BOC? BOC achieves measurable energy savings in the operation of public facilities and commercial buildings by training individuals directly responsible for day-to-day operations. The program establishes a standard of professional competence in energy and resource-efficient building operations and maintenance, identifying and recognizing the building operators who meet this standard.

What is covered in the training?

BOC training consists of a series of seven courses--eight full days of training-on building systems, energy-conservation techniques, HVAC systems and controls, lighting, environmental health and safety regulations, indoor air quality, and facility electrical systems. Descriptions of the seven courses are listed below.

  • BOC 1001 - Energy Efficient Operation of Building HVAC Systems (Core)
    Provides an overview of the Building Operator Certification program and fundamentals of building systems. Focuses on operation and maintenance of envelope, central heating, cooling, air and ventilating systems in buildings. Emphasis is placed on group problem-solving and exercises with respect to preventive maintenance. Two-day class.
  • BOC 1002 - Measuring and Benchmarking Energy Performance (Core)
    Operators learn how energy is used in commercial buildings and how to identify and prioritize conservation opportunities. Includes basic principles of energy accounting, evaluation of fuel options, operation and maintenance strategies to improve efficiency, and energy management planning techniques. Participants will learn how to perform quantifiable evaluations of their facilities' energy use in order to be able to target prospects for energy conservation. One-day class.
  • BOC 1003 - Efficient Lighting Fundamentals (Core)
    Covers lighting fundamentals and types of lighting for economical and energy efficient lighting systems. Participants learn principles of efficient lighting including evaluation of lighting levels, quality and maintenance. Other topics include lighting fixture and control technologies, common upgrades, retrofit and redesign options, and management strategies as they apply to space use and function. One-day class.
  • BOC 1004 - HVAC Controls Fundamentals (Core)
    Provides an introduction to automatic control systems and equipment, particularly for central air systems. Participants will learn to target possible inefficiencies in their HVAC systems and to evaluate potential problems as part of an enhanced operation and maintenance program. One-day class.
  • BOC 1005 - Indoor Environmental Quality (Core)
    Introduces the basic causes of indoor environmental quality problems and begins to develop a method of diagnosis and solution. Students will gain an understanding of the dynamic components of indoor environmental quality in relation to source control, occupant sensitivity and ventilation. Emphasis will be placed on communications with building occupants for reliable investigations without aggravating existing issues. One-day class.
  • BOC 1006 - Common Opportunities for Low-Cost Operational Improvement (Core)
    This class introduces common opportunities that offer the greatest energy savings potential. This module examines typical areas and problems associated with different system types and equipment as well as tools and techniques for identifying opportunities. One-day class.
  • BOC 1007 - Facility Electrical Systems (Supplemental)
    Participants will learn basic electrical theory, safety procedures, power distribution, and energy conservation to develop a practical understanding of electricity and its use in commercial facilities. Participants will learn basic troubleshooting in order to effectively work with licensed staff and/or contractors with ongoing electrical problems and maintenance support. One-day class.

How is the training conducted and how long does it take?

BOC training includes classroom study, small group exercises, open-book exams and project assignments based on the participants' own facilities. Participants receive 56 hours of classroom training and complete five in-facility projects, each requiring approximately two hours of work outside the classroom. The projects are designed to demonstrate participants' competence in locating building heating and cooling equipment, distribution paths and control points; facility energy accounting; HVAC energy inspection reporting; and facility lighting surveys. Except for the course on HVAC systems, each course in the BOC training series is completed in a one-day training session. HVAC Systems and Controls is a two-day course. Typically, courses are scheduled one per month over a seven-month period.

How do I register for BOC?

To register for BOC courses in Missouri, see the schedule of courses on the BOC website. Complete the online registration form for your course or contact the Division of Energy for more information.

What are the Costs of the Program?

The Division of Energy of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, in cooperation with the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, is providing BOC training in Missouri with the generous support of AmerenUE, Aquila, Columbia Water and Light, Empire District Electric Company, Kansas City Power and Light and Springfield City Utilities. Individuals working at organizations in these utilities' service areas are eligible to enroll in BOC training at a cost of $1,150. If you are employed by an organization that is not a customer of one of these utilities, please contact the Division of Energy for more information about eligibility and costs to participate in the BOC training program.