Rex W. Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil Corporation has said that US energy sector employees can help accelerate economic growth and employment by supporting sound energy policies and education, job training and career development.
In a speech at the North America’s Building Trades Unions legislative conference in Washington DC, Tillerson said, ‘pro growth energy policies can spur our economy by opening access to American resources, enabling investment and innovation, and by advancing energy and infrastructure projects that employ millions of Americans.’
‘The oil and natural gas industry now supports 9.8 million jobs, and the average job in oil and gas production pays roughly seven times the federal minimum wage,’ said Tillerson. ‘The US energy sector now accounts for US$ 1.2 trillion of the US economy, equal to 8% of our GDP. And thanks to technological breakthroughs and visionary projects, in 2013 our nation became the world’s leading producer of energy from oil and natural gas.’
With sound energy policies, a recent study has said that the US could see up to 452 000 new jobs created by 2035 through LNG exports. Some 500 000 new jobs supported by new oilsands development could come within 20 years and in oil and gas exploration and production alone 166 000 jobs for African America and Hispanic workers could be generated between 2010 and 2020.
Challenges and the future
The US does however face challenges such as an aging workforce and the retirement of baby boomers. Tillerson commented that the energy industry and the building trade unions need to work together in the years ahead to find a way to replace skilled workers, including scientists, engineers, electricians, welders and technicians.
‘Whether you work at ExxonMobil of for the building trades, we share the same desire for America’s future: We want the safest, best trained and best qualified workforce in the world. Today’s unions can help tomorrow’s workforce by communicating the urgency of action and the need to be fast and flexible in the modern global marketplace,’ said Tillerson.
Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.
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