Despite today’s gloomy economic forecasts, the nation’s electric and gas industries are primed to be among the most important segments of the economy for a long time. The issues facing our industries—reducing carbon emissions, maintaining high reliability, and keeping pace with the nation’s continually growing demand—will require that we mount the largest skilled workforce development effort since the building of the electric grid 100 over years ago.
In anticipation of these challenges, our industries have been focusing on staffing four key areas: line workers, technicians (electrician, boilermaker, and electronics), power plant operators, and pipefitters/pipelayers. To address both the short and long-term personnel needs of our industries, CEWD, the Center for Energy Workforce Development, was created in 2006 by a consortium of electric, natural gas and nuclear utility associations: Edison Electric Institute, American Gas Association, Nuclear Energy Institute, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. CEWD then set about to develop the processes and tools needed to develop tomorrow's energy workforce. CEWD formed a partnership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in recognition of the critical role that the union’s apprenticeship programs play in training our workers. And CEWD has also formed partnerships with a number of secondary and post-secondary educational institutions to create the programs and activities that are needed to develop a qualified, diverse workforce.CEWD recently launched a communication campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of working in the electricity and natural gas industries. The campaign includes an interactive website, “Get Into Energy”, www.getintoenergy.com. The campaign is now targeting students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors, as well as working adults who are considering a career change. The site offers videos on careers in the energy industries, and career assessment and resource tools, and more information on careers in today’s energy fields. Energy companies can also find brochures, posters, and other materials to assist their own recruitment activities. We encourage you to get involved in CEWD today. With your support, our industries can begin addressing the vital, growing need for entry-level skilled and craft positions. For more information about CEWD, please visit www.cewd.org, or contact CEWD at [email protected] or 202-638-5802.