Senate Energy Bill Recognizes Union Apprenticeship Programs

May 15, 2015

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers President Edwin D. Hill issued the following statement regarding the 21st Century Energy Workforce Act introduced by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.):

“The 21st Century Energy Workforce Act is a major step forward in helping our nation meet the skilled worker shortage looming over the energy industry. 

“For more than a half of a century joint union/employer apprenticeship programs have been the largest and most effective trainers of skilled utility and energy-sector workers in the United States.

 “By giving these programs the same standing as community colleges and other educational institutions when it comes to qualifying for federal job-training grants, Congress is finally recognizing what energy industry leaders have known for years: that our graduates are the best-trained and most qualified workers in the entire industry.

“The energy industry will require more than a million new skilled workers over the next 15 years, and the IBEW, along with our utility partners, are ready to work with federal officials in meeting this challenge.