The Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC)  will be hosting its fourth annual career fair on Wednesday—bringing hundreds of students and professionals together under one roof to meet potential employers in the local energy sector.

Jobseekers—mostly students, recent graduates and professionals of all experience levels—are seeking careers in engineering, grid technology, transportation, IoT, environmental services, sales and marketing, software development, data science, legal services and finance, among other fields.

The exhibiting employers include Smashing Boxes, Trilliant, Tethis, Duke Energy, Power Secure, NC Electric Cooperatives, ABB, Advanced Energy, Flex Gen Power Systems, Brady, GB&A, Sensus, Rising Edge Group and Quanta Technology. Exhibitors will line up at tables to meet potential job candidates for internships, co-ops and part-time or full-time positions.

RTCC’s job fair is an opportunity for Triangle firms to tap into a new cohort of emerging energy sector talent at a time of heightened demand.

According to NC Sustainable Energy Association’s latest annual report, North Carolina’s clean energy industry produced over 34,000 full-time jobs in nearly 1,000 firms over 2017. This is a 31 percent ramp up from job counts in 2016.

Given this momentum, companies are faced with the practical challenge of finding more workers to keep pace with the rate of job growth. Local cleantech firms are reporting that the task of finding enough workers to fill jobs is a major obstacle, particularly in high-demand areas like energy efficiency.

This gap is a hurdle the RTCC hopes to address in its upcoming job fair, presented in partnership with NC State’s Career Development Center.

RTCC started the annual program back in 2016 just after its local talent survey found that 80 percent of 120 participating companies had stated their plan to create 3,000 new jobs in the next two years. In its 2016-2018 action plan, the RTCC outlined its strategy to help expand the workforce through trade shows, career fairs and industry events.

Last year’s job fair yielded a turnout of 550 attendees. Organizers say they expect a similar crowd size this year.

The program will be held January 30 at NC State University’s McKimmon Center from 4-7 p.m.

Entrance is free for jobseekers, but registration is required.