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Innovative Training Program Fills Critical Need for Next Generation of Energy Industry Employees

Graduates of Miami Dade College/FPL Electrical Power Technology Program Offered Jobs on the Spot

In tough economic times, it’s not often the case that 100-percent of the graduates of a program receive jobs or promotions. However, that’s precisely what recently happened to 17 graduates of Miami Dade College and Florida Power & Light’s innovative Electrical Power Technology Program where graduates receive associate in science degrees with specializations in one of three areas - instrumentation and control, electrical maintenance, and mechanical maintenance. This is the second graduating class of the program which is aimed at providing FPL a fresh crop of skilled employees since a lot of its workforce is retiring over the next few years. Pictured with the graduates are William Jefferson (left), FPL’s site vice president at Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, and Dr. Jeanne Jacobs (right), MDC’s Homestead Campus president, and Dr. Richard White, the director of MDC’s School of Computer and Engineering Technologies, who oversees the Power Technology Program.

Miami, June 19, 2009 - In the midst of difficult economic times, bright futures await 17 graduates of Miami Dade College’s Electrical Power Technology Program.  Today, in a ceremony held on Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Homestead Campus, 13 graduates were presented letters of employment. 

Four other graduates, who already work for Florida Power & Light Company, received FPL job promotions due to the specialized education they successfully completed at the Program.

“As our region evolves into a scientific hub for Florida, the economic forces that will shape our future include power and energy engineering, from alternative to nuclear. These sophisticated industries require highly skilled employees, and this partnership with FPL is an excellent example of how Miami Dade College can prepare our workforce for these emerging jobs, as it has done for half a century,” said Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, MDC’s president. 

“This Program supports our regional economic development and provides an exceptional educational and career opportunity for FPL employees and MDC students.” 

“Today, we are celebrating the second class of Electrical Power Technology Program graduates who are receiving offers of employment from FPL.  We congratulate each one of them,” said Dr. Jeanne Jacobs, president of MDC’s Homestead Campus where the trailblazing program is housed.

“Miami Dade College, specifically the School of Computer and Engineering Technologies, under the direction of Dr. Richard White, shares a wonderful collaboration with FPL because at MDC we always want to be part of the solution. In this case, the goal is to create a successful and steady pipeline of highly skilled talent for the nuclear industry.”

The Electrical Power Technology Program is an innovative partnership between MDC, FPL and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and is designed to support workforce development and respond to the growing energy need in the Miami-Dade County area for employees trained in the latest energy technologies.

“A program like this is really significant. We have a demographic challenge with 35% of our workforce retiring in five years,” added William Jefferson, site vice president, Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, Florida Power and Light Company. “Nuclear power is a wonderful career to get into.”
The 17 students who received letters of hire or promotions from FPL today will start their jobs at the apprentice level with anticipated annual wages exceeding $45,000 and the opportunity to move up to journeyman electrician after one year.

”The nation is experiencing a critical shortage of energy and nuclear-skilled workers. This situation is particularly acute in the nuclear energy sector. This partnership addresses that challenge,” said James Auld, college and community coordinator for FPL. “We are pleased to be able to tap into a natural resource in our area – students eager to learn important and valuable skills – and offer them the opportunity to build a career with FPL for years to come. We all benefit from this partnership.”   

The Electrical Power Technology program was developed with guidance from subject matter experts based at FPL’s Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant and faculty resources from FPL and MDC. Students completing the program earn an associate’s in science degree, with specializations in one of three areas: instrumentation and control, electrical maintenance, and mechanical maintenance.

Classes are held on Monday through Thursday mornings at MDC Homestead Campus, with the summer internships at the FPL Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant. Students are able to complete the program in less than two years. The program is made possible with the support of the IBEW, and the Florida Power and Light Group University.

“Groundbreaking. Innovative. Progressive. These words describe this great program,” said a jubilant Victor del Cid who graduated and received a job offer from FPL. “I finally feel I have plotted the right course for me, my family and this community.”

Miami Dade College is the nation’s largest institution of higher education with an enrollment of more than170,000 students. It is also the nation’s top producer of associate in arts and science degrees. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 300 distinct degree programs including several baccalaureate degrees in education, public safety management and nursing. In fact, MDC’s academic and workforce training programs have served as national models of excellence. MDC is also renowned for its rich cultural programming. It is home of Miami Book Fair International, Miami International Film Festival, the Cultura del Lobo performing arts series, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, a sculpture park and a large art gallery and theater system.     

For more information about Miami Dade College and FPL's Electrical Power Technology Program, contact Dr. Richard White at 305-237- 3735, or Tania Rios at 305-237-5107,


Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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