Sunday, July 14, 2024

CNA’s Future Shines Bright Green at the Energy NL Conference & Exhibition 2024

By Allison Rowe

The Energy NL Conference & Exhibition 2024 brought together energy stakeholders from around the world for the exchange of ideas, innovations, and strategies under the theme Our Energy Mix: Opportunity in the Energy Evolution.

The conference attracted industry leaders, policymakers, scholars, and emerging professionals, all aiming to forge a path forward towards a sustainable and resilient energy future. Against the backdrop of mounting environmental concerns, geopolitical shifts, and technological advancements, this pivotal gathering held significance beyond its geographical borders, representing a collective effort to navigate the complexities of the modern energy economy and pave the way towards a brighter, greener future.

CNA Pioneers New Post-Secondary Programs Educating the Next Generation of Energy Leaders

At Energy NL 2024, CNA President and CEO, Elizabeth Kidd captivated over 700 delegates with a call to action. Against the backdrop of Newfoundland and Labrador’s burgeoning role in pioneering a green hydrogen future, Kidd and fellow speakers delved into the theme of Readying for Success: How to Prepare for the Modern Energy Economy.

Their discussions underscored the indispensable connection between sustainable practices, future-focused education, and thriving organizations in today’s dynamic global economy. With sustainability emerging as a requirement for strategic planning, Kidd’s address shed light on the urgent imperative to power the present while laying robust foundations for a resilient and eco-conscious future.

In her address, Kidd spoke on the pressing need across organizations and sectors for a focus on organizational sustainability, emphasizing that it is not just a future concern, but an immediate priority for all. She highlighted the multifaceted changes occurring globally, including shifts in consumer preferences, regulatory landscapes, and the emergence of new job roles necessitating a swift integration of sustainability into strategic planning frameworks.

Key to Kidd’s message was the recognition that the ongoing transition presents an unparalleled economic opportunity. With consumers demanding eco-conscious products and governments tightening emission regulations, the landscape is evolving rapidly. In addition, the increase of new job categories coupled with escalating competition compels organizations to recalibrate their workforce strategies and cultivate sustainable practices to maintain a competitive edge.

To navigate these complexities, Kidd stressed the importance of resilience, collaboration, and foresight. She underscored the role of consultation and collaboration with energy industry stakeholders in identifying current and future skills requirements, advocating for industry-driven educational programs to bridge the gap between demand and supply in the labour market. Kidd’s call for courage resonated strongly, urging stakeholders to embrace innovation and lead the charge towards sustainability, even in uncharted territory.

In alignment with this vision, CNA unveiled groundbreaking initiatives aimed at fostering a green economy. The recent establishment of CNA’s School of Sustainable Development signifies the college’s strategic commitment to equip the local workforce with the requisite skills for success in renewable energy sectors such as wind, solar, and hydrogen, offering new programs like the Solar PV Installer program. Furthermore, the introduction of innovative programs like the new Bachelor of Applied Information Technology: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning underlines CNA’s dedication to nurturing talent capable of driving technological advancements across diverse industries, including energy.

Kidd also highlighted the significance of industry partnerships in shaping educational programming and providing students with hands-on experience. Notably, collaborations with key players in the wind and hydrogen sectors have led to the creation of specialized technician programs including a Wind Turbine Technician program and Hydrogen Technician program, supported financially by industry stakeholders like World Energy GH2. These initiatives not only address immediate industry needs but also position graduates at the forefront of burgeoning sectors, fostering economic growth and prosperity.

In closing, Kidd reiterated CNA’s commitment to collaboration and responsiveness to industry demands. She extended an open invitation to stakeholders, urging them to join hands in transforming challenges into opportunities for sustainable development and economic growth. As Newfoundland and Labrador paves the way towards a green future, partnerships between academia, industry, and government will be paramount in realizing this vision and a CNA-educated workforce of new leaders will be leading the charge.

out the Reality Capture and Digitization Technology Access Centre (RCD TAC) 

The Reality Capture and Digitization Technology Access Centre (RCD TAC) is a research facility housed under CNA’s Office of Applied Research and Innovation. RCD TAC is a hub for industry and community to access cutting-edge technology like drones with LiDAR and scanners. Located in St. John’s, NL, RCD TAC is a proud member of Tech-Access Canada’s network of specialized centres nationwide.

Ready to Innovate? 

Connect with RCD TAC today to elevate your project. Let’s turn your vision into digital reality!  |  709-758-7474 |  

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Allison Rowe
Allison Rowe
Allison Rowe is the Community Relations Officer for the Office of Applied Research and Innovation (OARI) Reality Capture and Digitization Technology Access Centre (RCD TAC). Her career spans a variety of positions across corporate, government, non-profit, and educational sectors both domestically and internationally, including roles at the OECD and McKinsey & Company. With over 20 years’ experience in communications and stakeholder engagement, she is passionate about fostering business growth and innovation via inter-disciplinary collaboration for the cross-pollination of ideas. Hailing from Corner Brook, NL, she is fluent in several languages and holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from Mount Allison University.


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