Sec. Moniz & Sen. Cantwell lead discussion on energy workforce n - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Sec. Moniz & Sen. Cantwell lead discussion on energy workforce needs

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RICHLAND, WA - U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz is in Washington this week to talk about energy workforce needs. He made his way to Tri-Cities Tuesday to lead a roundtable discussion with Senator Maria Cantwell. 

At the forefront of Tuesday's discussion were opportunities and challenges in regard to the future of jobs in energy. Secretary Moniz talked about the U.S. Department's Quadrennial Energy Review which found changes in the energy sector will create jobs. 

Senator Cantwell said across the country, 1.5 million new energy jobs will need to be filled in the next 15 years. Of those 1.5 million jobs, 200,000 will be here in Washington. Filling those jobs will require finding and training workers. 

The roundtable was all about getting community input from different organizations, including PNNL, higher education institutions, like Columbia Basin College and Washington State University. 

Senator Cantwell also released a new report on those challenges. 

"In the report, it calls for pilot programs and ways in which the Department of Energy can call out those jobs and what kinds of skills we need to be training for. We're hoping Tri-Cities will be a big help in trying to figure this out, maybe even be a pilot for the future," said Senator Cantwell. 

On Wednesday, Secretary Moniz will be touring the Department of Energy's Hanford Site and plans to hold a brief press conference following the tour to talk about his visit to Washington. We will be live streaming that press conference on our KNDU-TV Facebook page at 12:30 p.m.