Labor Market Policy and the Energy Transition

Over the next year, JFI will be working on policy related to the twin opportunity of the climate labor gap and the skilled labor institutional gap. A few topics that we’ll investigate:

  • Which models in other countries have been effective in upskilling workers, expanding the worker pool, and ultimately producing good jobs? Which models have failed?
  • How have alternative models of vocational education and CTE in other countries served or, alternatively, undermined unionization and/or sectoral bargaining?
  • How can we measure and visualize the geographic distribution of skilled labor market tightness?
  • Which of the IRA and CHIPS Act workforce development initiatives, either housed within companies or partnerships with external community colleges, have been effective? What has made those partnerships effective?

The current landscape of the climate transition reveals a paradoxical juxtaposition: paired forward-thinking policies around capital deployment stand in contrast to retrograde skilled labor policy. This combination will only serve to undermine and delay the energy transition while also wasting an opportunity to construct truly ambitious, sorely-needed new institutions. In the coming series, we’ll investigate what it would take to build these new institutions.

In This Series

Part 1

Labor Market Policy and the Energy Transition: A Problem Statement

"Can skilled labor supply expand at the necessary pace to green our energy system, without wasting an opportunity to negotiate high-quality, well-compensated jobs?"