The CEWD released a “2018 State of the Energy Workforce” Report that is full of viable information surrounding our industry and the various components where we are integral to the domestic workforce. The CEWD highlights 4 different elements for workforce planning: business planning, workforce analytics, execution and metrics, and finally, workforce development (CEWD, 2018). These are all key factors to our industry that will lay the foundation for the future. The authors and contributors of this report offer a five questions breakdown that targets where, what, and how we can address the workforce issues that are currently at play. The WD portion of their report was created to address and tackle these questions:
• How can the recruitment strategy support the company’s workforce strategies, such as increasing diversity within the company and hiring military veterans?
• What is the current supply of potential candidates within the state or region that can be tapped?
• What are some of the sources of candidates that are available?
• Are new programs required at local schools to address demand and potential new skills?
• What actions will the company take to create the desired talent pipeline?
Something important to consider about the bolded questions above is that they have a foreword thinking mentality. This has been mentioned previously, but it is something needs to be addressed in our current energy industry climate. Advancements are being made constantly in the work we do. Whether that’s in the realm of technology or stakeholder structure, changes are happening! Reaching a new talent pipeline or digging into the current supply of “potential candidates” are key actions that connect to the foreword thinking mentality. With advancements, come change, and we must reroute our practices to best fit these changes and move forward in an efficient manner.
The additional bolded question addresses the process of recruitment. While this is something that occurs for every business and organization, inside and outside of the energy sector, it embodies a great amount of importance. A main part of the issue within our workforce that we have consistently addressed is the composition of employees. The two initiatives that are mentioned above, “increasing diversity and hiring military veterans,” are both ways to expand the composition. Utilizing organizations or being proactive internally about these issues, is where the change comes into play. While there are avenues for individuals seeking employment to use to break ground into the Energy Industry, we who are already part of the industry, must be aware of these resources as well.
For example, the CEWD formed the Get Into Energy (GIE) Program with the goal to “build awareness among students, teachers, military veterans, transitioning workers, and others about the fantastic career opportunities available in the energy industry” (CEWD). Within this program, individuals that fall into these categories have an opportunity to learn more about the industry and how they can become involved. Through webinars, testimonies, conferences, and other avenues; there are countless resources housed in this one platform that can support the two initiatives listed above.
While we know that the resources do exist, it is now our turn to identify the gaps in our own fields whether that is engineering, consulting, technical assistance, or another specific facet of energy efficiency. The CEWD’s workforce planning objectives can be applied to all fields within EE, “Balance the supply and demand for a qualified and diverse energy workforce” and “measure workforce development initiatives to determine impact on critical skill and workforce gap” (CEWD). Programs and learning opportunities that develop and enhance these critical skills are what Workforce, Education, and Training is all about. Looking inside our current standards and reach, then making the necessary alterations that support the workforce planning objectives is how we can create a new road for our industry.
Background on CEWD:
The Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) is a nonprofit national organization that brings together the best from the energy industry, education, government, and communities to deliver a single mission: build the alliances, processes, and tools to develop tomorrow’s energy workforce.
Take a look at some of the excellent resources offered by Center for Energy Workforce Development: