wind turbine

The renewable energy industry — globally, nationally, and regionally — is in the midst of tremendous change. Significant growth in the renewable energy sector has occurred in recent years and forecasts show that this trend will continue.

Washington State is on the leading edge of new developments in renewable energy, and the state is well positioned to accelerate the shift toward a clean energy economy to support state environmental and economic goals. The future growth in renewable energy depends on a well-qualified workforce to design, build, operate, and maintain renewable energy plants and equipment.

Energy Industry Skill Standards

  • Energy Industry Skill Standards – critical work functions and activities, performance and knowledge, skills and abilities needed to succeed in energy-related occupations. Provided by the Center of Excellence for Clean Energy for the development of the energy industry’s skilled workforce.
  • Power Utility Training Consortium – a partnership among power utility companies in the Northwest that have a shared concern for future workforce development, quality and standards.

Jobs & Careers

The rapid developments in technology now underway in the energy sector will create profound changes in the way electricity is produced, distributed and utilized throughout the country. Electric utilities in the Pacific Northwest have identified the acquisition and implementation of “smart grid” systems as a top priority. These changes to our infrastructure will create both challenges and opportunities for the regional and national energy workforce. Electric utility jobs will change, and new jobs and skill sets will emerge as a result of this new technology.

Along with the implementation of new “smarter” technologies, the energy sector is facing a looming labor shortage. More than 50 percent of the skilled workers in our regions utilities are eligible for retirement in the next 10 years. Recruiting, training and retaining new employees while also upgrading the skills of existing workers will become essential to ensuring that the future utility workforce is established and productive.

The Center of Excellence for Clean Energy is at the nexus of this technological and demographic shift and is working with industry, organized labor, education, and community partners to ensure a vibrant and highly skilled energy workforce for the next century.