The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is partnering with a number of federal government agencies and utility industry groups to form the Utility Industry Workforce Initiative, a multi-year effort dedicated to facilitating the recruitment, training, and retention of exiting service members, veterans and their spouses into employment in the utility industry. According to the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD), the electric utility industry will need to replace almost half of its current workforce over the next decade.
“Our industry is facing significant retirements of our existing workforce, and we are working together to develop solutions and approaches to identify a talented, high-skilled, and innovative industry workforce for the future,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “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. 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.”
In addition to EEI and CEWD, other participants in the Initiative include the Departments of Energy, Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs; the Nuclear Energy Institute; the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association; and the American Gas Association.
“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 U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. “New job-driven training strategies, reflecting a broader range of needed skills, will be required to meet the challenges of the future. America’s talented pool of veterans provides the leaders our utility industry needs to build a new energy future.”
“This Administration continues to find exciting new ways to extend richly deserved ladders of opportunity to our veterans,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “With the Utility Workforce Council, Secretary Moniz and the energy industry are showing bold, innovative leadership, and we will deploy the resources and expertise of the Labor Department and the workforce system to help ensure its success.”
The Initiative will work to identify and promote training and credentialing opportunities for veterans to facilitate their entry into the utility industry; share information on trends about exiting military members; promote opportunities for immediate recruitment of exiting service members; and assess how military training requirements align with job requirements throughout the utility industry. It will also work to improve existing tools that match service members and veterans with employment opportunities in the utility industry.
This new initiative complements the Troops to Energy Jobs program, which was launched in 2011 by CEWD, 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.