Teaching kids today more about science and math is critical if we are going to have prequalified ready talent for tomorrow’s energy organizations. Yet we have good reason to wonder if our education system is up to the task. Since 2002, at SOS Intl we have helped over 1000 energy organizations train over 7400 adults as operators, power marketers and engineers in the standards and procedures for reliably operating the NA power grid. Yet in this “New Normal” 10% unemployment economy – where every one of our clients has at least one operations and one engineering opening – right now or any day now, very few employers are hiring. Go figure.
Any one working today, with health insurance, is hanging on. Well crafted plans for retiring at an age certain seem to have gone out the door as more and more neighbors, kids and grandkids fear or get laid off, or struggle to find work. Thousands of college graduates and talented veterans are scampering to land that first job in an arena/sector where they want to build a career. As months go by, in many cities and states – finding any meaningful job has become a struggle.
Meanwhile, savings for retirement have dwindled, 401(k)’s have become 201(k)’s and plans for selling the family home to downsize or relocate to warmer climes have all gone out the window or at least been put on the shelf. Borrowers can’t get loans and sellers still can’t believe new normal home values or refuse to accept new normal prices. The home sales market will take years to self-correct.
In the energy industry, the number of talented professionals with skills, knowledge, experience and the numbers (age + service) to walk out the door at thousands of munis, co-ops, public and private power companies is building like pressure behind New Orleans levees. This has the makings for the perfect storm.
When the economy rebounds, and it will – slowly but surely, as stimulus monies, new technologies and increasing need for more generation, better integration of renewables and electric vehicles bring new means of storage, distributed generation, and a resurgence in safe clean nuclear power comes with smart grid load management and new approaches, old energy organizations will need to begin hiring.
At the same time there is a well known problem brewing in our education systems – no place is this case better made than in this dramatic wonderful and entertaining video.
At PReP Intl we are already beginning to carry the message to K-12, working with Community Colleges and University’s and welcome the opportunity to develop new scholarship and prequalification programs with our clients and partners to prepare tomorrow’s generations for the Energy Technology (ET) Revolution. The power of energy will soon become clearer. The challenge is to provide solutions for both what ails education while rebuilding our infrastructure to meet tomorrow’s needs. We need to put Americans back to work trained and ready for work in power.