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National energy industry association announces academic partnership with new Rowan venture

Pictured: power lines, wind turbines and solar panels
The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE), an 1,800 member national energy association, announced that a new venture between Rowan University and Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) will serve as its academic partner.

“We are building partnerships with educational institutions to increase support for programs and for students looking to pursue careers in energy-related fields,” said AABE Board Chair Rose McKinney James at their national conference this week. “The partnership with Rowan College at Burlington County and Rowan University will provide a directed program that will include certificate and degree programs that make the process affordable for students.” 

The partnership will create an academy at RCBC that will provide AABE members access to many programs including supplier development training that will improve their eligibility for government contracts, courses for prospective employees to learn the energy industry and academic courses for students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to learn foundational principles of the energy industry.

RCBC will host an AABE student chapter, which will provide students pursuing a career in STEM the opportunity to learn about the energy industry through education, mentoring, community service and business networking.

AABE’s members work with companies from throughout the industry, some of whom have already begun to work with the new Rowan organization. Pioneering members include PSEG, PECO, Edison Electric Institute and Southern Company.

This partnership will be served by the new venture, Rowan Global Solutions, which is a collaboration between Rowan University’s Global Learning & Partnerships and RCBC’s Workforce Development Institute. Rowan Global Solutions will allow RCBC and Rowan University to expand the success helping local and regional employers throughout the nation.

“This partnership will be a national model for energy and utility education,” said Rowan University President Dr. Ali Houshmand. “Our curriculum will be shaped by the American Association of Blacks in Energy so that our students will learn the precise skills leading employers are looking for when hiring or promoting someone.

“We are very excited about this partnership that we can replicate to meet the needs of any company or sector in the country,” Dr. Houshmand added.

Beyond the AABE initiative, Rowan Global Solutions will be a distinct arm of both Rowan University’s Global Learning & Partnerships and RCBC’s Workforce Development Institute. It will provide comprehensives talent development services for regional and global businesses. It will be led by Rowan University Vice President of Rowan Global Learning & Partnerships Dr. Horacio Sosa and RCBC’s Director of Business Engagement Jonah Cooper Jr.

“Our Workforce Development Institute has proven its ability to meet the needs of businesses in our community and the region, and now in partnership with Rowan University, we will be able to help businesses throughout the country who are looking for skilled workers and people who are seeking better employment opportunities,” RCBC President Paul Drayton said. “By listening closely to what leading employers need, our ‘Classroom to Career’ pathway has created more work opportunities for students and more classes that provide the skills that employers seek.”

To learn more about taking advantage of training opportunities through Rowan Global Solutions, contact Jonah Cooper at jcooper@rcbc.edu or (856) 291-4245.

To learn more about RCBC’s Classroom to Career approach, visit rcbc.edu/classroom2career.

About the American Association of Blacks in Energy
The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) is a national association of energy professionals founded and dedicated to ensure the input of African Americans and other minorities into the discussions and developments of energy policies regulations, R&D technologies, and environmental issues. For more information, visit aabe.org.

About Rowan College at Burlington County
Rowan College at Burlington County, the top-ranked community college in New Jersey, transforms lives by delivering innovative, high-quality and affordable education in an accessible and diverse environment. Through RCBC’s historic partnership with Rowan University and its innovative 3+1 program, students can earn a bachelor’s degree for the cost of one year at most four-year institutions. For more information, visit rcbc.edu.