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Workforce Development

A critical component of clean energy policy and program development is having a comprehensive understanding of the workforce needs in the clean energy sector. The clean energy sector is evolving rapidly and along with it, workforce development needs. Recognizing this, DEP’s Energy Programs Office contracted with BW Research to conduct a clean energy labor market review including a workforce needs assessment for the state of Pennsylvania. 

This work included the data collection and analysis of current and projected energy jobs, and a specific report for clean energy jobs including renewable energy and energy efficiency jobs across the state using the 2019 and 2020 US Energy and Employment Report (USEER) data sets, released on the US Energy Jobs website. The contracts, funded through US Department of Energy's (DOE's) State Energy Program (SEP), resulted in the development of several deliverables: The 2020 Pennsylvania Energy Employment Report, the 2020 Pennsylvania Clean Energy Employment Report, and the 2021 Pennsylvania Clean Energy Industry Workforce Development Needs Assessment & Gap Analysis.

2021 Pennsylvania Clean Energy Industry Workforce Development Needs Assessment & Gap Analysis

The 2021 Pennsylvania Clean Energy Industry Workforce Development Needs Assessment & Gap Analysis report identified what partnerships and programs can most effectively train and prepare the Pennsylvania workforce to meet the needs of clean energy businesses in the state. As mentioned in the 2020 Pennsylvania Clean Energy Employment Report, the clean energy industry had been a growing source of jobs in Pennsylvania for several years prior to the global pandemic. This report identifies how to best support continued job growth in the state’s clean energy technology sectors.  Recommendations from the report include:

  • Facilitate on-the-job training opportunities and hands-on industry experience for workers through apprenticeships or internships.
  • Support curriculum sharing and procurement by facilitating round table discussions with clean energy employers, identifying key skills and certifications, then assist training providers in either finding curriculums already in use or in procuring nationally accredited curriculums.
  • Create a pipeline for displaced workers to transition into the clean energy workforce by supporting programs that connect these individuals to training providers in the state that give them basic knowledge and skills to prepare them to enter the clean energy workforce.
  • Promote manufacturer-specific certifications for clean energy technologies, such as air-source heat pumps or high-efficiency heating and cooling technologies.

2020 Pennsylvania Energy Employment Report

The 2020 Pennsylvania Energy Employment Report  includes job growth over time and employer-reported hiring projections in each of the following energy technology sectors: motor vehicles, energy efficiency, fuels, electric power generation, and transmission, distribution, and storage. The report found that:

  • In total, Pennsylvania had just over 269,000 traditional energy, energy efficiency, and motor vehicle jobs across the state in 2019. 
  • These jobs accounted for 4.5 percent of the overall statewide workforce. 
  • The energy sectors with the highest employment include motor vehicles and energy efficiency. 

As the nation’s electricity generation sources continue to change, this 2020 baseline analysis of Pennsylvania’s energy and energy-related workforce provides a foundation upon which to understand energy employment changes and needs in the future.  

2020 Pennsylvania Clean Energy Employment Report

BW Research extracted Pennsylvania-specific clean energy employment data to produce the 2020 Pennsylvania Clean Energy Employment Report. The report highlights employment in the five major clean energy sectors of: clean energy generation, energy efficiency, alternative transportation, clean grid and storage, and clean fuels. This report found that:

  • Pennsylvania was home to just over 97,000 clean energy workers across the state in 2019, the majority of which are in the energy efficiency sector. 
  • In 2019, clean energy jobs represented 1.6 percent of the overall statewide labor market. 
  • For Pennsylvania’s clean energy employers, the most reported reason for hiring difficulty was lack of experience, training, or technical skills by prospective employees.

In addition to employment data, the clean energy employment report details customized data points such as employment by value chain segment, historical employment, detailed clean energy sector employment, and a county-level clean energy jobs analysis. The report also includes workforce data such as demographics and employer hiring difficulties, and some limited revenue and wage data.