Utility Industry Workforce Initiative helps veterans get energy utility jobs

Industry expects half of workforce to retire in 10 years, supports Utility Industry Workforce Initiative

A new federal program – the Utility Industry Workforce Initiative – designed to match military veterans with jobs in the American power industry was announced Monday by government and business representatives.

Utility Industry Workforce Initiative

Veterans receiving energy industry training.

The Utility Industry Workforce Initiative will recruit and train service members, veterans and military spouses to qualify for high-skilled jobs in the utility industry. The energy sector is projected to need an additional 1.5 million workers by 2030 in transmission, storage, and distribution, while up to 200,000 veterans a year are leaving the military, according to a Department of Energy release.

Recruiting and training for energy jobs may be able to reduce the skills gap in a critical set of industries.

“Energy is America’s great economic advantage in the 21st century global economy, but we’ll need a 21st century energy infrastructure to keep that advantage, built by a 21st century workforce,” said US Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

Utility Industry Workforce Initiative

US Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

“America’s talented pool of veterans provides the leaders our utility industry needs to build a new energy future.”

According to the Center for Energy Workforce Development, the electric utility industry will need to replace almost half of its current workforce over the next decade.

“The leadership abilities, mission focus, commitment to safety, and team orientation that military service members consistently demonstrate are exactly the skills our industry needs in its workers,” said Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute, which represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. 

“We are pleased to work together with our government partners on the Utility Industry Workforce Initiative with the goal to provide veterans a path to rewarding energy careers.”

The Utility Industry Workforce Initiative will promote and, where necessary, design training and credentialing opportunities for veterans and transitioning service members to facilitate their entry into the utility industry. This could also include apprenticeships and training that utilize the DoD SkillBridge authority and other federal training resources where military occupations map to utility jobs.

The Utility Industry Workforce Initiative is a partnership between the Departments of Energy, Labor, Defense, and Veterans Affairs, and five utility trade associations. The program was announced during a speech at the Edison Electric Institute conference in New Orleans.

DoD SkillBridge allows eligible service members to obtain valuable civilian jobs skills training, full time, from potential employers beginning up to six months prior to separating from the military. The agencies and associations will work together to make it easier for veterans to translate their military skills and training into the credentials that qualify them for these great positions in utilities.

The Department of Labor, through nearly 2,500 American Job Center network nationwide will provide support and a direct connection to local veterans seeking training, skills upgrades and employment in the energy sector and to employers looking to hire veterans.

The Center for Energy Workforce Development says the Utility Industry Workforce Initiative complements the Troops to Energy Jobs program, which was launched in 2011 in partnership with EEI and its member companies. Troops to Energy Jobs works to make it easier for veterans to translate their skills and training; accelerate the time it takes to get required credentials or degrees; create a military-friendly environment within companies; and increase the number of veterans who are recruited, hired and trained in the utility industry.

 

Posted in: News

Post a Comment