Eighteen Spokane area high school juniors and seniors spent July discovering if a career in the energy field could be their pathway to a successful future. Through Avista’s inaugural Energy Pathways student career experience, the students were in classroom sessions with Avista experts from a range of craft, technical and professional fields. Then the students put their learning into practice with hands-on activities including designing, planning and performing actual utility tasks.

On Monday, July 30th, Governor Jay Inslee visited the students. Governor Inslee said he hopes the students have a greater understanding of some of their educational options following high school. “It’s time for us to stop telling our kids that if they don’t get a four-year degree then they’re a failure,” said the Governor.

Part of the month-long experience included the students identifying positions of interest to them within Avista for job shadowing in the fields of alternative and emerging energy including wind, solar and battery technologies; energy efficiency and sustainability; engineering; and maintenance and operations of the energy system.

“The changing utility industry and a wave of retirements are creating opportunities for good-paying skilled jobs that do not necessarily require a four-year college degree. Our goal for Energy Pathways is to provide participating high school students with career connected learning. Through their four-week experience, the students are having the opportunity to explore and develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities that may lead them to a career in the energy field,” said Karen Feltes, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Avista.

The Spokane Valley CTE schools were well represented:

Reneece Bailey, Dishman Hills High School
Katelyn Bartel, Spokane Valley Tech
Roka Brovick, Spokane Valley Tech
Cameron Engh, East Valley High School
Hunter Hendricks, West Valley High School
Gabriel Johnsen, West Valley High School
Conrad Knapp, University High School
Ryan McMahon, Central Valley High School
Daniel Netro, West Valley High School
Kadin Rice, East Valley High School
Rogan Rodriguez, Spokane Valley Tech
Tyson Talbot, Central Valley High School
Nova’Lee Turner, University High School

Below are links to local news stories on the program.

KXLY Story

KREM Story