News on Workforce Development




Jon Corley, 202-508-5609
Jeff Ostermayer, 202-508-5683

The Center for Energy Workforce Development Joins Business, Industry Groups to Advance Efforts to Close “Skills Gap”
Organizations Plan to Educate and Train More Workers, Create Skilled Workforce

Washington, D.C. (February 20, 2014)—The Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) joined 20 other business organizations today to share plans to ensure students and workers have the knowledge and skills they need to work in the modern economy. Convened by ACT Foundation and the Business Roundtable, the National Network of Business and Industry Associations is coordinating cross-sector efforts to close the “skills-gap.”

“Our industry faces unprecedented changes in talent development, and the need for collaboration has never been stronger,” said Thomas H. Graham, CEWD chair and vice president, people strategy and human resources, Pepco Holdings Inc. “Utilities and affiliates have made great strides in developing better training programs to create the next generation of the energy workforce.”

U.S. employers are finding it increasingly difficult to identify skilled candidates to fill open jobs, creating the “skills gap.” A June 2013 report by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce projected that 2.6 million jobs in science, technology, engineering and math will need to be filled between 2010 and 2020, for example.

"We have to develop and implement strategies now to ensure we can fill these positions with the right people, increase diversity in student and candidate pools, and create a pipeline of potential workers with the right skills at the right time,” Graham said.

The electric utility industry is facing significant workforce shortages—almost 55 percent of its workforce may need to be replaced in the next 10 years, in large part due to the number of employees reaching retirement age in the coming years. Clearly the retirement wave has begun, and at the same time, the industry is seeing a growing skill gap in applicants ranging from employability skills to academic and technical skills.

The National Network represents major business sectors and is funded through a collaborative partnership of ACT Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Joyce Foundation and Lumina Foundation. Members include leaders in the manufacturing, retail, healthcare, energy, construction, hospitality, transportation and information technology sectors. They represent the source of nearly 75 percent of projected U.S. job growth through 2020 (an estimated 30 million new jobs).

At today’s meeting, members discussed efforts to:

  • Create a blueprint of the knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies required for career success in core business sectors;
  • Define the standards for national credentials that validate those skills; and
  • Identify successful models that integrate industry-recognized credentials into secondary and postsecondary education.

“It is encouraging to see the business community unify across industry and sector lines to produce actionable solutions to close the ‘skills gap,’ especially with the power of the Business Roundtable behind them,” commented Parminder K. Jassal, Founding Executive Director, ACT Foundation, which co-operates the National Network.

Inaugural Members of the National Network of Business and Industry Associations

Aerospace Industries Association

American Health Information Management Association

American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute

American Land Title Association and ALTA’s Land Title Institute

American Moving and Storage Association

American Public Transportation Association

American Welding Society

Center for Energy Workforce Development


Home Builders Institute

Interstate Renewable Energy Council

The Manufacturing Institute

National Apartment Association Education Institute

National Center for Construction Education and Research

National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence

National Institute for Metalworking Skills

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

National Retail Federation Foundation

Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute

TechAmerica/TechAmerica Foundation

Western Association of Food Chains

For more information contact Jon Corley at or 202-508-5609.


Formed in March 2006, the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) is a non-profit consortium of electric natural gas and nuclear utilities and their associations - Edison Electric Institute, American Gas Association, Nuclear Energy Institute, and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. CEWD was formed to help utilities work together to develop solutions to the coming workforce shortage in the utility industry. It is the first partnership between utilities, their associations, contractors and unions to focus on the need to build a skilled workforce pipeline that will meet future industry needs.




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