Intro to Energy Basics Prepares Students for Energy Careers

Partnership with Alliant Energy targets high school students considering technical careers

MARSHALLTOWN – More than 30 high school students are participating in pre-training opportunities that could lead to apprenticeships in the energy industry thanks to a partnership between Iowa Valley Continuing Education and Alliant Energy.

“Introduction to Energy Basics” is a pilot program that serves high school juniors and seniors in the Marshalltown and Burlington areas. Participating students are from Marshalltown, BCLUW, Burlington, Donnellson, Danville, GMG, Grinnell, Keokuk, and South Tama high schools. The two-hour online class is taught once a week by subject matter experts from Iowa Valley and Alliant Energy and started January 21. The online classes end April 29.

“These students are hearing from frontline workers and getting a real behind-the-scenes look at the energy industry,” said Lori Wildman, Alliant Energy Training Specialist. “We want to encourage them to consider these careers and then remember us when they look for apprenticeships or employment.”

Upon successful completion of the program, qualifying students will receive a certificate of completion as well as the opportunity to apply for a limited number of paid internships with Alliant Energy in its Marshalltown or Burlington Operations Centers this summer.

“There are a number of Iowa companies desperately looking for employees, but many high school students don’t know anything about these jobs or what they require,” said Jacque Goodman, Vice Chancellor of Iowa Valley Continuing Education. “If we can set them on the path to get the training they need to get hired for these openings, everyone wins.”

The curriculum includes Introduction to Registered Apprenticeships/Careers in Energy; Utility Basics; Electric Overview; Gas Overview; Workplace Excellence (series); Basic Computers (computer skills needed for apprenticeships, series), Mechanical Basics; Workplace Culture and Safety and Ergonomics.

IVCE and Alliant Energy’s training partnership started with the development of the Utility Technician Program in 2011. This was a 10-week program offering overall skills for utility careers. This program helped train 110 participants through a State Energy Sector Partnership grant and resulted in a placement rate of over 90 percent. It also led to the development of a one-year certificate program at Marshalltown Community College (Power Line Technician, Gas Technician), which then evolved into offering a two-year degree program.

Iowa Valley Continuing Education provides customized training opportunities for local businesses. Iowa Valley can provide technical training, computer skills training, healthcare training, safety training, and teach leadership skills. Partnering with Iowa Valley for training and education gives businesses a competitive advantage; Iowa Valley can assess an employee’s knowledge and skill level and create a training program customized to their needs.

If your business is looking to provide customized training solutions for your teams, contact Neysa Hartzler at 641-844-5617, or Val Ruff at 641-844-5614.

About Alliant Energy

Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, provides regulated service to 495,000 electric and 225,000 natural gas customers. The company’s mission is to deliver the energy solutions and exceptional service customers and communities count on – safely, efficiently, and responsibly. Alliant Energy (NASDAQ: LNT) is a component of the Nasdaq CRD Sustainability Index, Bloomberg’s 2020 Gender-Equality Index, and the S&P 500. For more information, visit and follow us on LinkedInFacebookInstagram and Twitter.


About Iowa Valley Continuing Education

Iowa Valley Continuing Education, based in Marshalltown, is a member of the Iowa Valley Community College District. The District is comprised of Marshalltown Community College, Ellsworth Community College, Iowa Valley Grinnell, and Iowa Valley Continuing Education. The District serves a broad range of students and businesses throughout Central Iowa. For more information, check out the website at