The Challenge

The United States is facing a critical shortage of skilled operations workers and trained professionals to maintain the existing electric power system, and to design, build, and operate future electric power systems. The National Commission on Energy Policy's (NCEP) Task Force on America’s Future Energy Jobs describes how the decline of career and technical education, the movement toward low-carbon energy systems, and expected retirements are key factors driving this trend.

Call to Action

Over the last decade, leaders representing business, philanthropy, community colleges, research and advocacy organizations have been analyzing America’s skilled workforce shortage. Among the many advocates for change is HR Policy Association (HRPA) which represents human resource officers from more than 300 of the largest, primarily Fortune 500, companies. HRPA calls for a fundamental restructuring, or shift, in how employers interact with the academic community and with government training and education policy makers in order to better meet workforce needs in the United States.

"Neither education policy nor educational institutions in the U.S. seems to fully appreciate the constant increase in the acceleration of change in the work that is done and the skills needed to do that work …. In order to promote employment opportunities in the United States, there needs to be far greater alignment between educational curricula and academic institutions with the needs of employers."
- Educating the 21st Century Workforce: the Views of Chief Human Resource Officers Regarding Education, Training, and Skills Development, HR Policy Association, August 2010.


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