Washington — The U.S. energy industry is a dynamic and inclusive place to work with job opportunities that run the gamut from drone pilots and meteorologists to cyber specialists and policy experts, U.S. Energy Association Executive Director Barry Worthington told energy and environment graduate students at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced and International Studies (SAIS) on Monday.
In his remarks, Energy development from a global perspective - jobs and career opportunities in the energy sector, Worthington said the industry is morphing into a “clean, green and cool” one that invites all kinds of skillsets and professions from electricians and line workers to engineers, architects, lawyers, accountants, researchers, accountants, and others.
“And we embrace diversity,” Worthington said. “We want the best and brightest, and we could not care less about race, gender, sexual orientation or anything else. We just want people who are bright and can ensure our continued success.”
“The electric power alone supports more than seven million jobs. That’s one in 20 and 5 percent of the U.S. workforce,” Worthington said.
In the wake of two major hurricanes that slammed into the U.S. mainland this month, the sheer number of recovery workers deployed by the electric power industry should reflect the opportunity and jobs in the power industry. During Hurricane Florence, USEA-member Edison Electric
Institute, mobilized 40,000 workers. During Hurricane Michael, 35,000 workers were deployed.
Worthington said the energy industry performs a critical public service. “In the energy industry, everyone is your customer because everyone uses energy,” Worthington said. “When it comes to oil, it’s used across sectors in almost all household and industrial products and processes.”
Worthington discussed the ties between U.S. energy policy and the shift in the global energy landscape that has given the U.S. leverage in international discussions and development.
“Because of policy shifts and technology improvements in the United States, we are now blessed with an era of energy abundance that only a few years ago was unimaginable,” Worthington told the SAIS students. “The U.S. is the world’s largest producer of oil and gas. As we become a larger global supplier, less reliant on other countries for our energy and technology, our negotiating power on other issues of national interest increases.”
Sarah Jordaan, professor in the Energy, Resources and Environment program at SAIS said, “We enjoy hosting diverse speakers with different perspectives who have dedicated their careers to the energy industry. It is critical for the students to understand both the global challenges and opportunities the sector faces.”
Jordaan said, “Barry is at the epicenter of an industry trying to find a path forward to meet our energy demand while achieving both economic and environmental goals. He understands energy policy development from an industry perspective that the students would not have otherwise experienced. He is down-to-earth, and his talk was very well-attended. He led a lively and engaging discussion with the students after his presentation, making the lecture a great success. We are fortunate that the SAIS community, faculty and administrators support these great speakers and discourse.”