Anne Pramaggiore, Exelon senior executive VP and CEO of Exelon Utilities, testified today in support of the Blue Collar to Green Collar Jobs Development Act, a bill that would expand education and workforce development programs to improve and accelerate access to clean energy jobs for under-represented groups. In a hearing before the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy, Pramaggiore also discussed the critical role that energy companies can play in equipping a 21st century workforce to meet the challenges of a changing industry.
Pramaggiore emphasized the need for job development programs and STEM training to support the economic growth of diverse communities around the country. As the head of Exelon Utilities, Pramaggiore leads six of the country’s largest utility companies, which provide electricity and natural gas to more than 10 million customers in metropolitan areas around the United States.
“The energy industry has a business imperative to help lead workforce development efforts in these fast-growing, good-paying fields and to support programs that produce the next generation of workers,” Pramaggiore said. “As universal service providers with an essential social purpose and with assets situated in virtually every community in the U.S., we are a place-based business that is physically embedded in the places we operate and naturally engaged in economic development, jobs and the civic life of our community.”
The electric power industry is a major engine of economic growth for the U.S. economy, providing more than 2.7 million jobs across all aspects of the sector. As the industry evolves to place a greater premium on clean, resilient and connected electric systems of the future, utility companies will require a workforce prepared to meet both the rapid pace of technological advancement and the changing needs of customers.
Exelon has committed itself to expanding diversity within its skilled workforce and launched several initiatives designed to increase opportunity and access to employment within the energy sector. Among them are CONSTRUCT, a nine-week job training program in Chicago, and the DC Infrastructure Academy, a classroom training program that recruits, trains, and prepares D.C. residents for careers in the energy industry. In Delaware, Exelon helped Delaware State University launch its Renewable Energy Education Center, which is helping prepare and train the local workforce for clean-energy jobs.
Exelon also recognizes the importance of helping underserved communities and under-represented populations improve access to STEM education. As one example, Exelon Generation has an ongoing partnership with Everett Public Schools in Massachusetts to provide equipment, mentors and financial assistance to enhance STEM learning. Similarly, the STEM Innovation Leadership Academy, launched in conjunction with the United Nations’ HeForShe program, introduces young women to experiential learning projects and offers access to top-tier STEM experts and tours of science-oriented museums. Launched in Chicago and Washington, D.C., Exelon plans to also take the annual program to Philadelphia later this year.
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