Meet the Alaska Network for Energy Education and Employment

The Alaska Network for Energy Education and Employment works to ready the state’s workforce to unleash Alaska’s clean energy potential. We identify gaps in the state’s energy education and training landscape, build capacity and energy literacy throughout the state and connect partner organizations and energy stakeholders through network communications and events.

ANEEE was founded in 2017 as part of the Renewable Energy Alaska Project, and is funded by the Office of Naval Research.

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Our Team

Chris McConnell

Director |

As Director of ANEEE since 2017, Chris McConnell works to maximize energy literacy and training opportunities at the K-12, vocational, and university levels so that Alaskans can more easily identify and embark on career pathways in the energy sector. Chris seeks to regularly convene and unite various federal, state, private and non-profit organizations in order to create alignments, leverage shared goals and identify potential efficiencies.

Chris grew up an Air Force brat and called some 20-odd places around the country home before settling in Southern California. Family ties brought him to Alaska for summer work 1991 – a girl from Kenai and a young son have made Alaska his true home for the last eight years.

Jenny Starrs

Network Coordinator |

Jenny is the Network Coordinator for ANEEE. She works to identify and bridge the gaps in the state’s energy literacy and training landscape and increase the visibility of renewable energy career pathways across Alaska. Her work focuses on connecting stakeholders in the energy sector and facilitating collaboration and knowledge sharing throughout the ANEEE network.

Jenny has a background in video journalism, writing, and education technology. She moved to Anchorage in 2021, and is passionate about accelerating the state’s renewable energy use. She loves baking bread and exploring Alaska by foot, bike, and ski.

Jacob Powell

Utility Training Coordinator |

As REAP’s Utility Training Coordinator, Jacob supports the People In Power (PIP) program. They develop tools for workforce assessment and training, and are building relationships with rural utilities to provide regular, community-specific training programs to improve utility operations and management. Jacob is passionate about Alaska’s bright future, and believes in our ability to serve as a world model for healthy communities, clean energy, and ecological stewardship.

Before joining REAP, they worked as a hardware engineer for The Launch Company in Anchorage, specializing in launch site logistics and aerospace fluid transfer hardware. While completing a BS in Mechanical Engineering at UAA, Jacob was a Peer Health Educator, working with UAA’s Health Promotion Team to train students, staff and faculty around the state in pro-social bystander intervention.

Jacob also serves on the board of Bike Anchorage, working to improve access to safe and joyful biking in the city. When not at work, they can be found roaming around Anchorage on a fleet of steel bikes, nordic ice skating (Portage Lake is not frozen yet), or dropping knees on tele skis.