Call it the tale of two energy companies and their contradictory travails when it comes to attracting a modern workforce: One is a regulated and stable natural gas delivery company and the other a high-technology business that makes advanced energy storage batteries.
What they both share in common is the need to attract new people — not just to replace those who may be leaving but also to fill growing needs, some of which are quite sophisticated. Where they diverge, though, is in the types of folks that they may be recruiting. Stated differently, those who are risk averse are drawn to the utility model whereas the hipsters want to roll-the-dice and get in on the new thing.
Who we talking about? People’s Natural Gas and Aquion Energy, both out of Pittsburgh. The former has been around for at least a century while the latter just started commercial production of its battery storage devices, which can harness wind and solar electrons and release them when they would be needed.
This dichotomy exists in a world where jobs in the energy industry are expected to nearly double to 3 million by 2020, says Manpower MAN -0.16% Group, a workforce solutions company. But its research says that 72 percent of energy employers are having difficulty finding quality candidates to fill their positions.
The reason for that is because the experts are getting on and getting ready to retire while rapid evolutions in technology are altering the way business is done. At the early education level, Manpower says that the schools must focus now on science, technology, engineering and math to prep students for a 21st century economy.