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Welding
NETL Rising to Meet Anticipated Energy Workforce Needs

NETL’s Regional Workforce Initiative (RWFI), together with the Tri State Energy and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Consortium and the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI), highlighted the various elements at play to paint a picture of what the future of manufacturing and energy jobs holds during the “Predicting Future Regional and National Energy Workforce Needs” webinar.

The webinar brought together entities from academia, private industry, nonprofit organizations and government agencies such as People’s Natural Gas, the Robert C. Byrd Institute, the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, Shell, Ohio University, West Virginia University and the U.S. Energy Association, among many others.

Anthony Armaly, federal coordinator of NETL RWFI said the webinar centered on four focus areas: job opportunity metrics, opportunities for work, states with the widest potential for energy and manufacturing job growth, and how regional development strategies are the most effective path forward.

“We’ve seen time and time again that developing our economies at a regional scale, rather than national, can play to the strengths and characteristics of that region that might not apply elsewhere such as Appalachia’s abundant energy reserves as one example,” Armaly said. “With more than 120 attendees representing so many organizations across a wide spectrum, there’s no shortage of interest in this area. Collaborations on this scale are what NETL is all about.”

“Predicting Future Regional and National Energy Workforce Needs” also touched on the challenges of delivering the power needed to keep the economy going while also decarbonizing the nation’s energy use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, investments in energy efficiency, policy recommendations and how collaborating between entities can resolve skills or age gaps in in-demand professions, among other topics.

“Our goal is to help the audience better understand not only the challenges faced with short- and long-term employment but also where there will be opportunities in the energy and advanced manufacturing sectors,” Armaly said. “We demonstrated data on how skilled work is in need and will continue to grow as energy and manufacturing keep becoming more efficient.”

The NETL RWFI is a platform for engagement and collaboration among stakeholders who are essential for the deployment of U.S. Department of Energy and NETL technological research investments that generate economic development and job opportunities for the region and the nation. NETL RWFI has engaged with nearly 700 regional and national stakeholders from 377 institutions and organizations across academic, industry, government and non-government organizations to provide data and information about energy-related jobs and explain the economic impact of energy and advanced manufacturing research at NETL.

The TEAM Consortium is supported by a dedicated group of regional partners across Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia who are committed to building a skilled workforce for the tri-state area. TEAM Consortium brings together partners from industry, higher education, and workforce and economic development organizations to build clear and accessible pathways to energy and manufacturing jobs in the region.

The Energy Futures Initiative team and its global network of experts understand current energy markets, trends and needs. EFI applies its collective talent and knowledge to provide public and private decision-makers with strategic insights, advance synergistic clean energy technologies and policies at home and around the world, convene leaders from various sectors to forge practical implementable climate change solutions, and promote strong communities and a 21st century energy workforce.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory develops and commercializes advanced technologies that provide clean energy while safeguarding the environment. NETL’s work supports DOE’s mission to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy and environmental challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.