Delaware Technical Community College Alumna

Keri Knorr

Keri Knorr

Delaware Technical Community College Alumni from the Energy Management Program

Making An Impact

Keri Knorr currently serves as the Green Energy Program Manager for the State of Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).   She is happy with her job where she handles renewable energy rebates and helps low- and moderate-income households obtain free or reduced cost solar and weatherization. She also enjoys doing outreach events like a recent solar car competition (Junior Solar Sprint) with 5th to 8th grade students.

How It All Began

So, how did she achieve her current position? It started with a high school guest speaker. Like many high school students, Keri Knorr wasn’t sure what she wanted to do as a future career. She knew that she cared about the environment but didn’t know what programs fit her interests. Luckily, in Keri’s senior year of high school, Jennifer Clemons, Instructor and Department Chair for the Energy Technologies program at Delaware Technical Community College, spoke in her environmental science class. Jennifer’s visit led Keri to her taking community college classes in her senior year and then enrolling as a full-time student in the Energy Management program at Delaware Tech. She really enjoyed her time there as it involved doing many hands-on projects, included courses that made her work ready, and culminated with a capstone project that had her working on the energy management of one of the buildings at Delaware Tech. Although she felt all her teachers helped her, Keri said that having a female instructor was especially helpful as a role model and as someone to talk to about future plans.

Take Advantage of Opportunities

One of the most valuable opportunities she had was at the Delaware Energy Conference that she was asked to do as a student. She traveled to another part of the State with her instructor, Jennifer Clemons. She remembers telling her instructor that she would love to do an internship with Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and when they also had a booth at the energy event, her instructor encouraged her to approach them about the internship, saying, “the worst they could say is no”. Keri went over to them and they were interested and she was able to get an internship. After the internship at DNREC and an energy auditing internship at Delaware Tech, she was able to get a casual/seasonal part-time job with DNRC and, when a full-time position opened, she had experience to show to get the full-time job she has now.  Each time an opportunity occurred she took the initiative and her career path could be a model for other students.

Future In Energy

Keri continued her education after her May 2020 graduation with an Associates degree in Energy Management from Delaware Technical Community College and she recently completed her on-line University of Southern New Hampshire Bachelors degree in Environmental Science and she notes that while her associates degree in an energy field helped her to get her current job, the bachelors degree will help her advance in the State system. In the future she hopes to move into more conservation roles within the Department of Natural Resources and hopefully begin to teach adjunct courses for Delaware Tech. Keri observed that for the foreseeable future there will be many energy jobs to be filled, thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL_ and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) implemented by congress and the Biden Administration.  She encourages students to explore community college energy programs to help them find their career path in this exciting and dynamic field.