Workforce Policy Education

The Center for Energy Workforce Development encourages federal, regional, state, and local policies and practices that will enable the development of a skilled, diverse energy workforce. The following suggestions are meant to guide considerations to support the industry in the development of the 21st Century energy workforce. 

These are broad recommendations to provide education about the sector’s workforce development needs. Nothing contained herein should be construed for purposes of advocacy or lobbying. CEWD does not engage in any lobbying or political activities.

Remove structural barriers that impede workforce development progress by energy employers, including:

  • Ensuring “energy” is recognized as a National Career Cluster
  • Ensuring the energy sector is represented by a national intermediary that supports energy companies and their union partners in the advancement of Registered Apprenticeship Programs, especially for new and emerging areas of energy technology

Support the extensive training and development needs required to prepare individuals for evolving and increasingly technical energy careers, by:

  • Streamlining processes for creating pre-apprentice and apprenticeship programs, especially those associated with new and emerging technologies, and expanding federal support for work-based learning programs
  • Funding curriculum development, standardization, and training to support preparation for new and emerging energy careers
  • Providing tax credits to energy employers to enable and support work-based learning, upskilling, etc.
  • Increasing funding options for individuals to pay expenses related to completing high quality job training and work-based learning programs and earning post-secondary credentials 
  • Incentivizing work-based learning that can offer students high school credit
  • Supporting the development of youth (pre-) apprenticeship programs

Strengthen the workforce system’s ability to support energy employers with their 21st Century workforce needs, by:

  • Incentivizing partnerships with workforce development boards and leveraging their role as convenors, collaborators, and navigators of the public workforce ecosystem to identify and develop robust energy workforce pipelines in compliance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the CHIPS and Science Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)
  • Removing the arbitrary 20% restriction of funds on Incumbent Worker Training and increasing the 10% cap on Transitional Jobs in WIOA allowing workforce development boards to more effectively mitigate layoffs and upskill/reskill workers within local economies highly impacted by shifting energy resources 
  • Encouraging workforce amendments to existing bills where there are specific demand-side policy mechanisms that don’t have existing workforce support