Third of utility workforce reaching retirement age soon
- January 29, 2017
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That caught the attention of one man who for a living links employers' needs with schools training the future labor force.
"As we started gathering data, we found not only in the electric utility, but in the other utilities, the statistics were similar," he said. "The aging workforce, in some cases 25 percent to 35 percent of the workforce, is age 55 and above and on the precipice of retirement."
The news doesn't necessarily come as a surprise to utility officials.
Providers across the board are ramping up recruitment to fill technician and engineering jobs as baby boomers age out of the workforce.
"There is enough work out there for several generations," said
Gas utilities workers are busy connecting new customers to distribution lines, he said, and there's a nationwide push to replace aging infrastructure. That's all creating urgency to hire more.
"Add to that, all the work that's being done in the
"That's just eligibility, that's not necessarily that they're going to go," she said.
She predicted water and wastewater treatment operator positions will see the greatest need for workers, as well as maintenance personnel who keep equipment running.
Skills primarily will work with the Career and
"Then we'll have, hopefully, a program that is responsive to a sector of employment out there that has needs, and that we think is actually emerging," he said.
The survey found more workers are younger than when the center began collecting data in 2006.
Lineworkers, those who hang power lines, were among the youngest with more than half under age 42 and one-fourth younger than 32. In spite of the promising outlook, more than one-third of all engineers were older than 53, the survey found.
In the gas and electricity sectors, more than one-third of employees have the highest potential to retire in the next decade, the survey says, with 24 percent of those workers set to retire in the next five years.
Among lineworkers, technicians, plant operators and engineers, the survey estimates 74,000 replacements getting hired nationwide, with the greatest share being lineworkers and technicians, between 2015 and 2019.
The void, however, quits sprawling in the subsequent four years, from 2020 to 2024, with only about one-tenth of the workforce of retirement age in that period.
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