IEEE PES and IEEE-USA Commend U.S. DOE for Workforce Training Announcement

The IEEE Power & Energy Society and IEEE-USA commend the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for providing a funding opportunity that will advance workforce training in the electric power industry. On September 21, 2009, the DOE issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) entitled “Recovery Act – Workforce Training for the Electric Power Sector.” Approximately $100 million is expected to be available for new awards under this announcement.

Projects under this FOA will be funded, in whole or in part, with funds appropriated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). Among the Recovery Act's stated purposes are to stimulate the economy and to create and retain jobs.

Wanda Reder, President of the IEEE Power & Energy Society with more than 24,000 electric power and energy members worldwide, praised the DOE initiative. “This funding can be used to raise to a higher level the awareness of our nation's educational system about the need for electric power and energy engineers and technicians. This initiative can help address the pressing need for educating and producing current and future power engineers identified by the U.S. Power and Energy Engineering Workforce Collaborative in its action plan Preparing the U.S. Foundation for Future Electric Energy Systems: A Strong Power and Energy Engineering Workforce.”

Gordon Day, president of IEEE-USA, agrees. “The funding will help educate and prepare engineers and the skilled trades for a modern electric delivery system, enable retraining and assist unemployed and under-employed workers in other fields to qualify for power engineering job opportunities, and enhance university and community college education programs.” IEEE-USA endeavors to preserve and create jobs for IEEE's 210,000 U.S. members and all U.S. electrical, electronics and computer engineers.

“This initiative is also designed to foster technological innovation and advancements required to create a national clean-energy smart grid.” Reder says. “Our electric power industry faces major challenges. Engineers are needed to turn ideas into workable solutions. With retirements occurring now and in the future in large numbers in both industry and university faculty, we need proposals in response to this initiative that will build sustainable education programs and speed the revival of our nation's economy today and continue to support it for years to come.”

The Collaborative's action plan, Preparing the U.S. Foundation for Future Electric Energy Systems: A Strong Power and Energy Engineering Workforce is available at http://www.ieee-pes.org/workforce/workforce-collaborative. IEEE-USA's position statement on the use of the $100 million in funds for electric delivery training can be found at http://www.ieeeusa.org/policy/positions/electricityworkforce.pdf.

About PES:

The IEEE Power & Energy Society is a worldwide, non-profit association of more than 24,000 individuals engaged in the electric power energy industry. Our mission is to be the leading provider of scientific information on electric power and energy for the betterment of society and the preferred professional development source for our members. PES members are involved in the planning, research, development, construction, installation, and operation of equipment and systems for the safe, reliable, and economic generation, transmission, distribution, measurement, and control of electric energy. See http://www.ieee-pes.org.

About IEEE-USA

IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of more than 210,000 engineers, scientists and allied professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE. IEEE-USA is part of IEEE, the world's largest technical professional society with 375,000 members in 160 countries. See http://www.ieeeusa.org.

About IEEE

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.), the world's largest technical professional society, is commemorating its 125th anniversary in 2009 by “Celebrating 125 Years of Engineering the Future” around the globe. Through its more than 375,000 members in 160 countries, IEEE is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Dedicated to the advancement of technology, IEEE publishes 30 percent of the world's literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields, and has developed nearly 900 active industry standards. The organization annually sponsors more than 850 conferences worldwide. Additional information about IEEE can be found at http://www.ieee.org.

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