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Secretary Moniz Announces the Launch of New Veterans’ Utility Industry Transition Effort

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Secretary Moniz Announces the Launch of New Veterans’ Utility Industry Transition Effort

NEW ORLEANS — The Obama administration has made helping veterans find civilian employment and reintegrate into our nation’s workforce and economy a top priority. Further building on that effort, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz yesterday announced the creation of the Utility Industry Workforce Initiative during a speech at the Edison Electric Institute conference in New Orleans. This key partnership between the Departments of Energy, Labor, Defense, and Veterans Affairs, and five utility trade associations will recruit and train service members, veterans and military spouses to qualify for high-skilled jobs in the utility industry.

As seen in the recently released Quadrennial Energy Review, investments are needed to modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure, creating additional employment opportunities. Projections indicate that, by 2030, the energy sector, including transmission, storage, and distribution, will employ an additional 1.5 million workers. At a time when 200,000 veterans are leaving the military annually, recruiting and training for energy jobs can reduce the skills gap in a critical set of industries.

“Energy is America’s great economic advantage in the 21st century global economy, but we’ll need a 21st century energy infrastructure to keep that advantage, built by a 21st century workforce,” said Secretary Moniz. “New job-driven training strategies, reflecting a broader range of needed skills, will be required to meet the challenges of the future. America’s talented pool of veterans provides the leaders our utility industry needs to build a new energy future.”

“This Administration continues to find exciting new ways to extend richly deserved ladders of opportunity to our veterans,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “With the Utility Workforce Council, Secretary Moniz and the energy industry are showing bold, innovative leadership, and we will deploy the resources and expertise of the Labor Department and the workforce system to help ensure its success.”

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