Energy Industry continues to Court Younger, more Diverse Workforce
David McGowan, the executive director of the North Carolina Petroleum Council (not pictured) says that the energy industry must recruit a younger, more diverse workforce. (Pexels.com)
By Freddie Allen (Editor-in-Chief, NNPA Newswire and BlackPressUSA.com)
As workers in the energy sector reach retirement age, the need to recruit, train and hire younger, more diverse talent will increase, dramatically.
That’s why the American Petroleum Institute (API), “the only national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry,” according to the group’s website, has increased their outreach and engagement efforts in the Black community.
According to a report by IHS Global prepared for API, “nearly 1.9 million direct job opportunities are projected through 2035 in the oil and natural gas and petrochemical industries” and “African Americans and Hispanics will account for over 80 percent of the net increase in the labor force from 2015 to 2035.”
David McGowan, the executive director of the North Carolina Petroleum Council (NCPC), said that the oil and natural gas industry “absolutely” sees the value in the ability of the Black Press to reach audiences that can benefit from learning more about opportunities in the energy sector; that’s especially true when it comes to reaching Black families with young children.
The key, McGowan said, is to empower parents and students, beginning in elementary school, with information about the importance of a rigorous education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics commonly known as STEM.
“Starting that conversation early with students and encouraging them to look at fields of study that would prepare them for any type of energy industry career path, whether that path is in oil and natural gas, electric utilities, wind, solar or renewables…if they have that STEM background they’re going to be better served as students and as future professionals than if they didn’t have that background,” McGowan said.
NCPC is the division of API that represents the oil and natural gas industry in North Carolina.
McGowan joined API after serving as the director of regulatory affairs for the North
Carolina Association of Realtors.
McGowan recently met with the North Carolina Black Press Association to discuss strategies for improving energy literacy and sharing aspects of the industry that many families in the Black community don’t know exist.