NASEO report examines energy workforce and ways State Energy Offices can collaborate to advance workforce diversity

Published on September 13, 2021 by Chris Galford

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With inclusiveness in mind, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) released a new report this week that determined a diverse, qualified and supported workforce is needed to reach state energy, economic development and climate goals — and is within reach through collaboration.

The “Energy Sector Workforce Diversity, Access, Inclusion, and the Policy Case for Investment: Recommendations for State Energy Office Action” report determined that there is room for state energy offices, academia and the private sector to work together to bolster diversity in the energy workforce. Doing so could aid competition, innovation and help traditionally underserved communities to address clean energy and climate needs.

To achieve this and reduce workforce disparities, the report noted that state energy offices and others could begin to implement measures such as prioritizing training of underrepresented populations, launching education programs, supporting job placement for disadvantaged workers or putting more public spending toward diverse-owned businesses and workers. They could also develop partnerships with Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) to tap for advice on policymaking and planning, funding and workforce development/training programs.

The report also determined that partners could utilize foundations such as more inclusive procurement practices, paid internships and workforce surveys to gain a more diverse footing at the state level and begin making long-term inroads.

Conclusions were often based on data pulled from a joint NASEO-BW Research Partnership report released earlier this year, and also stem from a year-long partnership between NASEO, BW and the Clean Energy Initiative of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Community Development Action Coalition, a nonprofit coalition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other MSIs. Efforts were supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity.