new report from the National Academy of Sciences, "Emerging Workforce Trends in the U.S. Energy and Mining Industries" concludes that "the United States is facing the loss of a large number of experienced energy and mining workers in industry, academia, and the government. At the same time, the current educational system is not producing enough qualified workers to fill future jobs, which increasingly require science and math skills. Some innovative solutions are being pursued, but more action is needed if the nation is to maintain a skilled workforce able to supply energy and mineral needs." [Right, number of mining engineering graduates, 1974-2009. Credit, NRC report]
Among the many recommendations is that "national industry organizations and educational institutions should also embark on an informational campaign to educate students, parents, educators, and public policy makers about the importance of the energy mining industries to our economic and national security, the relevance of STEM education to jobs and careers in these industries, and job availability." This would be aimed at overcoming "A negative public perception of U.S. extractive industries...[which] dissuades some from pursuing careers."