Richmond, VA – Energy sector jobs will be easier to find following Governor Northam’s approval of HB2008/SB1348 earlier this year. The legislation creates a 17th Energy Career Cluster in the state’s education system, says the Virginia Energy Workforce Consortium. An Energy Career Cluster will introduce students to career opportunities in energy and focus their education on the jobs needed to meet the industry’s growing workforce needs.

“All forms of energy, traditional and renewable, rely on many of the same skills,” said Matt Kellam, chair of the Virginia Energy Workforce Consortium. “While those skills are currently taught in Virginia’s schools in other industry clusters, there is little emphasis on how they apply specifically to supplying energy. With this legislation, we will ensure that students are better aware of the opportunities available in meeting our energy needs.

Under the language of the law, the Virginia Department of Education will align education programs with the energy industry competency and credential models developed by the Center for Energy Workforce Development in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor. This will guarantee that Virginia students’ education in an array of fields related to energy will prepare them for energy jobs in the Commonwealth.

“I was proud to serve as the patron for House Bill 2008 during the 2019 session of the General Assembly,” said Delegate T. Scott Garrett (R-Lynchburg) “Energy jobs are the backbone of the American economy and we need to make sure all students in the Commonwealth have a pipeline to access this vibrant sector of the 21st century workforce.”

Creation of a 17th Energy Career Cluster is supported by a coalition of energy industry companies and business groups including the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Lynchburg Regional Alliance, Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium, Dominion Energy, Washington Gas, Virginia’s Electric Cooperatives, and the Virginia Manufacturers’ Association.