For Immediate Release - February 03, 2012

GOVERNOR PATRICK VISITS CLEAN TECH CAREER DAY TO CELEBRATE INDUSTRY EFFORTS TO PROMOTE STEM EDUCATION

FastCAP Tour
Governor Patrick visits clean tech company FastCAP to meet with Boston students exploring careers in the STEM fields. (Photo credit: Meghan Dhaliwal / Governor's Press Office). View additional photos.

BOSTON – Friday, February 3, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today visited with Boston public high school students as they toured energy storage company FastCAP Systems, which hosted its first annual “Clean Tech Career Challenge” in Boston’s innovation district. During his visit, the Governor spoke with students about the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and congratulated the company for its effort to teach students about career opportunities in clean energy as part of the Administration’s efforts to close the achievement gap.

“The students of the Commonwealth will drive our economic future and it is up to us to give them the tools to succeed,” said Governor Patrick. “There is no better way to prepare them for STEM careers than to connect them with real-world cutting-edge companies like FastCAP Systems.” 

“This is a great opportunity to expose students to growing, innovative companies doing business in Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, Chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. “As we continue to work across industry and academia to promote STEM education to all students as early as possible, visiting companies like FastCAP Systems helps students step beyond the classroom to learn real world applications and hopefully gain a stronger interest in STEM related fields.”

Approximately 25 students from Green Academy, John D. O'Bryant School, Boston Latin Academy, TechBoston Academy and Dorchester Academy attended the career day. The visit marked the second in a series of field trips for Boston public high school students to visit three innovation district companies for laboratory tours, clean technology discussions and first-hand advice on how to pursue careers in science, engineering, technology and math.

“One of the biggest challenges we face as a company and as an industry is finding qualified employees with the proper skills to fill the jobs that we are creating,” said Dr. Riccardo Signorelli, CEO of FastCAP Systems. “If we want to sustain this fast-paced growth in the clean technology industry and keep these newly created jobs in Massachusetts and in the United States, we’ve got to start encouraging our kids to study the tough subjects that will prepare them for careers in technology and science. They need to see first-hand how rewarding and fun a career in clean technology can be.”

The goal of the Clean Tech Career Challenge is to introduce to students interested in environmental studies career paths in the clean energy industry requiring STEM-related studies in school.

Massachusetts leads the nation in student achievement and education reform efforts and has also seen significant growth in the state's clean energy sector. A recent Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) study showed that clean energy jobs in Massachusetts grew jobs by 6.7 percent from July 2010 to July 2011. The report cited nearly 5,000 Massachusetts employers involved in clean energy work and employing over 64,000 clean energy workers. The report also found a large number of firms in varied industries – ranging from construction and manufacturing to research and development – reporting activity and employment in the clean energy sector.

The event is in collaboration with the Boston Private Industry Council, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, MassCEC, Satcon Technology Corporation and clean tech incubator Greentown Labs. The day exposed the students to the broad spectrum of clean tech jobs being created by the host companies, from entrepreneurship, to the process of inventing and designing new products, to lab experiments and validation, to large-scale manufacturing and testing final products. To top the day off, the students witnessed renewable energy in action in a visit to the rooftop of Satcon, where they learned about the newly installed 550 kilowatt photovoltaic inverter array.

“We are thrilled to see companies like FastCAP and the other partners in this event devoting time and resources to helping ensure that young people know the right path towards a career in clean energy,” said MassCEC CEO Patrick Cloney. “This program and the other workforce development programs we are working on help develop a workforce that is ready to roll up its sleeves to ensure Massachusetts’ place as a national and global clean energy hub.”

Through its Workforce Development Program, MassCEC is positioning the Commonwealth as a leader in the clean energy market by developing a well-trained, educated workforce that meets industry needs and provides opportunities for those seeking to enter the industry. For more information visit www.MassCEC.com.

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