Energy Industry Experts Host STEM Focus Youth Energy Academies Across the State of Florida

June 20, 2023 – Local energy industry experts are teaming up with the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) FL Chapter to introduce 8th – 12th grade students to the many careers in the electric utility and STEM-related fields. Experts from SECO Energy, Duke Energy, Ocala Electric Utility, Orlando Utilities Commission, JEA, Siemens, Siemens Energy, NextEra Energy, FPL, PITSCO and Mitsubishi Power are partnering to bring six Youth Energy Academies to life for 60 students at each academy throughout the state of Florida. Educational partners in the academies include McLaughlin Middle School, CareerSource CLM, College of Central Florida and St Pete College.

Events Dates:

  • June 6 – 10       McLaughlin Middle School & Fine Arts
  • June 11            South Florida Youth Energy Academy at St. Lucie Nuclear Plant Training Center
  • June 22 &23     Ocala Youth Energy Academy at Mary Sue Rich Community Center
  • June 27 & 29    Jacksonville Youth Energy Academy at JEA
  • July 13 &14       St. Pete Youth Energy Academy at St Pete College, Allstate Center
  • July 27 & 28      Orlando Youth Energy Academy at Duke Energy Winter Garden, Siemens Wind Turbine Center & OUC
  • July                  Gainesville Youth Energy Academy at GRU

Over ten years ago, the Florida Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) incorporated a Youth Energy Academy model focused on, but not limited to, minority students. Students can visit for additional information.

The Youth Energy Academy is an interactive workshop that sparks the students’ interest in selecting an academic path toward a career in the energy industry. The students will explore high-skill, high-wage jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by taking a closer look at robotics along with craft & technical careers. Through tours, students are exposed to wind turbines, fiber-optic systems, water treatment, nuclear and gas plants. Through a team approach exercise, students build solar cars, learn how drones play an integral role in the utility industry, how electric vehicles (EV) will change the way we fuel vehicles in the future and other STEM-related aspects. The “Women in Energy” career panel consists of women working in energy who can share with the students their educational path toward preparing for a STEM career in the energy industry.

Kathy Judkins, SECO Energy’s Deputy Director of Civic, Charitable and Government Affairs, and AABE FL Chapter’s President stated, “It’s our quest to cultivate a future talent pipeline of local students for the array of jobs in the energy sector.”

On average, 40% of energy sector workers are eligible for retirement in the next five years. It is crucial for energy industry experts to play an integral role in cultivating its future workforce – thus giving local, talented young people employment opportunities close to home.

Judkins concluded, “We believe summer is a perfect time for students to explore and discover job opportunities in the energy industry. We also encourage high school seniors to apply for AABE FL’s STEM-related scholarship opportunities in the fall timeframe. Additionally, we encourage students and their families to visit the websites of the energy companies listed above to review career opportunities in and near where they live.”

Learn more about AABE FL Chapter and its Youth Energy Academy at>Programs>Participants and >Scholarships