Strategic Energy Action Plan

Action Area 10: Develop Green Workforce Pipeline In Support Of Energy Transition

Workforce development is a national issue referring to the development of skilled labor jobs. Currently, the average age of those in these roles is 4759. This means there will soon be a considerable employment gap. As Charlotte works to develop a green economy through transitioning to a zero carbon energy future, there is a wealth of job creation opportunities for various skill levels.

Charlotte currently has high unemployment rates in specific communities60. There are many groups in Charlotte, including the City of Charlotte government, that are actively working to address this issue of inequity and include organizations like: Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, the Urban League of Central Carolinas, and Charlotte Works.

It is necessary to ensure that the job creation opportunities are equitably distributed across all communities. It is also important to consider the opportunities of entrepreneurship in this space together with the mechanisms and models that realize it.

As with many transitions that we have seen in history, there is a process of ‘creative destruction,’ where new

technologies and ways of doing things lead to the destruction of certain jobs and the creation of new ones. There is a need to formalize and predict what these jobs of the future are in order to ensure an adequate workforce labor pipeline. It is through these initiatives that guidance can be provided by the City in collaboration with its various current and future partners.

There is likely to be conflict in the investment priorities and resource allocation between the public and private space. This Action Area is fundamental to the innovation pathway that is foundational to each of the pillars of buildings, transportation, and generation.

Task 1: Form a Working Group for Workforce Development and Equity in FY19

CREDIT will not be able to ensure the workforce required to deliver the low carbon future on its own and will require inputs and guidance from multiple groups to ensure equity in job creation and deployment of low carbon technologies. A working group is needed in partnership with CREDIT and other partners. This group will need to comprise experts from nonprofits, government, academia, construction, and energy systems to inform and direct it.

Task 2: Establish and Produce the Training Pipeline for Skilled Labor Jobs and Entrepreneurship Opportunities in FY22

Additional knowledge will be gathered through efficiency activities under Action Area 5.

Step 1: Develop mechanisms and partnerships to support and encourage energy efficiency job opportunities and pipeline creation

There are a series of job opportunities attached to energy efficiency, which can include, for example, energy auditors that identify a building’s energy performance before and after the implementation of energy efficiency measures, and project management associated with deployment of large-scale energy retrofits – such as intense weatherization. In addition, there are training opportunities for the public, businesses, and educational establishments.

Step 2: Develop mechanisms and partnerships to support and encourage shifting energy demand response job opportunities and pipeline creation

There are job opportunities associated with building management systems, their integration into existing structures, and their ongoing proper use, as well as property performance management to ensure the integration of efficiency approaches in combination with onsite generation. Educational programs relating to the use of smart metering, smart products, and similar should be implemented so that all consumers can benefit.

Step 3: Develop mechanisms and partnerships to support and encourage onsite generation, job opportunities, and pipeline development

There are multiple job opportunities attached to the installation and maintenance of onsite and distributed generation, which includes solar PV, wind generation, heating and cooling networks (together with combined and tri-generation), and solar and ground source heat pumps. Finally, there are integrated opportunities that combine one or more of these technologies. We can learn from the existing solar portfolio being offered by Duke Energy and the zero carbon building target the City government set.

Step 4: Develop mechanisms and partnerships to support and encourage third party intermediary jobs and opportunities

Jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities exist for these organizations which should be encouraged through various established communities, like faith-based communities. The entrepreneurial opportunities attached to new businesses in this field provide opportunities for building equity. New approaches may see energy services being sold rather than the energy itself. This option may be considered in terms of the circular economy and job opportunities attached to approaches such as the retrofitting of vehicles to make them zero carbon. There are already opportunities that are being explored by companies in this space. With the targeted scheme relating to municipal buildings, there are additional opportunities for entrepreneurship with a program being put into place.