Friday, May 23, 2014

AAEA Supports 21st Century Energy Workforce Development Jobs Initiatives Act of 2014 (H.R. 4526)

Letter below is being circulated by the signatories
Dear Colleagues:
In order to help our economy rebound and to address the levels of unemployment that are still too high in many communities, we would like to request your support on H.R. 4526, the 21st Century Energy Workforce Development Jobs Initiative Act of 2014.
This bipartisan jobs bill will not require any new funding and would provide a pathway to employment for minorities and other historically underrepresented communities in the energy sector. Led by the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, the bill calls for the Department of Energy to outline a comprehensive strategy for initiating collaboration between the DOE, Education, and Labor departments, as well as industry, schools, community colleges, universities, labor unions, workforce development organizations, and other stakeholders in order to engage, inform, train, and recruit minorities for the energy jobs of the present and future.
Other highlights of the bill include:
· Encourage collaboration with representatives from within the energy industry (oil, gas, coal, nuclear, utility, pipeline, renewable, nuclear) to identify the areas of highest need in each sector and to develop guidelines for the skills necessary to develop a workforce trained to go into those sectors.
· Promote collaboration with schools, community colleges, universities, workforce training organizations, national laboratories, unions, and the energy industry in order to ensure that the nation’s education system is equipping students with the skills, training, and technical expertise necessary to fill the employment opportunities vital to managing and operating America’s energy industry.
· Promote and encourage STEM education as it relates to job opportunities in energy-related fields of study in schools, community colleges, and universities nationally.
· Provide information, guidance, and resources for schools, workforce development centers, and community colleges seeking to train or re-train candidates looking to go into the skilled, semi-skilled, and highly-skilled energy jobs in order to provide them with the skills and certifications necessary to fill these jobs.
· Encourage and foster collaboration, mentorships, and partnerships between organizations (unions, industry, schools, community colleges, workforce development organizations, universities) that currently provide effective job training programs in the energy field and institutions (schools, community colleges, workforce development programs, universities) that seek to establish these types of programs in order to share best practices and approaches that best suit local, state, and national needs.
Over the next five to ten years the energy industry will lose up to 50% of its current workforce due to attrition and retirements, so it is vital that we are informing our constituents about these opportunities and training them to enter into these well-paying energy jobs and careers. Please join us in cosponsoring the 21st Century Energy Workforce Development Jobs Initiative Act of 2014, which represents a Win for the Industry, a Win for our Communities, and a Win for the Economy as a whole!
To sign onto the bill as a cosponsor please contact John Marshall (Rep. Rush’s office) at or (202)225-4372. Thank you and we hope to have your support.
Bobby L. Rush, Ranking Member, Energy & Power Subcommittee                               
Ed Whitfield, Chairman, Energy & Power Subcommittee       
Bill Johnson, Member, Energy & Commerce Committee

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