Training the next generation of smart grid workers
Mike Rowe presented a TED talk in Monterey, CA in 2008 that celebrated working hard and argued that one of the most concerning trends in our country today is the declining numbers of skilled tradesman – plumbers and electricians – and perhaps more frightening to me, the country’s lack of desire to roll up their sleeves and work.
Today, in a step toward providing the skilled labor needed to fill jobs in our future energy economy, Secretary Chu announced $100 million in DOE grants for smart grid workforce training. These funds, the latest distributions from the Recovery Act, will be distributed among the states, with the largest state grants going to Washington, Illinois, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
This money will provide Americans with the opportunity to pursue training in the energy field. Other emerging fields in this industry have struggled to find enough skilled workers to supply their needs. These DOE grants will allow the smart grid industry to preemptively strike against their future need for skilled labor – though how successful they will be is yet to be seen.