New job initiative aims to bolster veteran ranks in the utility industry

Dive Brief:

  • Investor-owned electric companies will partner with several federal agencies to bolster the number of military veterans working in the utility industry, providing training and working to recruit exiting service members.
  • The Edison Electric Institute said it will develop the Utility Industry Workforce Initiative alongside the U.S. Departments of Energy, Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs.
  • The industry’s aging workforce is a problem, and by some estimates utilities will need to replace almost 50% of their workforce over the next decade.

Dive Insight:

The utility industry is looking for new ways to address concerns about its aging workforce[1], and has announced a broad industry-government partnership aimed at bringing ex-military into energy jobs.

“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,” EEI President Tom Kuhn said in a statement[2]. “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.”

Along with four department-level agencies, EEI will work on the initiative alongside the Nuclear Energy Institute; the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association; the American Gas Association; and the Center for Energy Workforce Development. Plans call for identifying training and credentialing opportunities for veterans, as well as sharing information on trends about exiting military members. The initiative will also promote opportunities for immediate recruitment of exiting service members and assess how military training requirements align with job requirements throughout the utility industry.

The new initiative complements the Troops to Energy Jobs program, which was launched in 2011 by CEWD in partnership with EEI to increase the number of veterans who are recruited, hired and trained in the utility industry.

“New job-driven training strategies, reflecting a broader range of needed skills, will be required to meet the challenges of the future,” said Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. “America’s talented pool of veterans provides the leaders our utility industry needs to build a new energy future.”


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