The Department of Labor (DOL) should update CareerOneStop’s “mySkills myFuture” website and other web properties to provide prospective career changers with comparative information on job-related pollution and safety metrics.
As the United States transitions towards a clean energy economy, a majority of workers in traditional fossil fuel industries will need to find new employment. In its January 27, 2021 Executive Order “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad”, the Biden-Harris Administration called for revitalizing “energy communities” — that is, communities whose economies have traditionally been based on the energy industry. Revitalization includes creating good and sustainable opportunities for labor. DOL is a member of the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization authorized by the January 27th Executive Order, which has been tasked with providing federal leadership to support coal, oil and gas communities during the energy transition. DOL’s “mySkills myFuture” interactive web portal guides experienced job seekers to discover new careers that match their existing skill sets. However, information presented on the portal lacks key quantitative factors that support worker well-being. To enable transitioning workers in declining fields to make more informed choices about future jobs, the DOL should update its career guidance tools to include data on health and safety risks associated with different job options.