NY Times Story Highlights Manufacturing Workforce Issues

Blog | July 02, 2010 - 12:36 pm
By R. Neal Elliott, Associate Director for Research

<p>A <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/02/business/economy/02manufacturing.html?... in today&#39;s New York Times highlighted a fact that ACEEE has been hearing for several years, which is there is a shortage of skilled manufacturing workers (as I discussed last year in my Senate Energy <a href="/tstimony/032409_senate_RNE.pdf">testimony</a>). The Times story uses examples from Ohio that echo the same comments we heard two years ago when we did our stakeholder engagement for our <a href="http://www.aceee.org/pubs/e092.htm">Ohio study</a>.</p>

<p>I heard the same comments last week when I participated in a stakeholder meeting for <a href="http://nyserda.org/programs/Commercial_Industrial/default.asp?i=2">NYSER... Industrial program</a>. Among the revealing comments was that the challenge is not just finding engineers, but also skilled trades like welders, machine operators, and mechanics. The joint DOE/EPA <a href="http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-programs/suca/resources.html">Nati... Action Plan for Energy Efficiency</a> has identified this as an important issue, commissioning a report on the topic which unfortunately did not delve deeply into the industrial sector needs.</p>

<p>This topic is one of ACEEE&#39;s four key elements of a national industrial policy to revitalize manufacturing:</p>

<li>Access to new technologies (e.g., R&amp;D)</li>
<li>Access to industry-specific technical expertise and technical assistance</li>
<li>Access to capital to make capacity modernizing investments</li>
<li>Access to a trained workforce</li>