As the fastest growing multicultural segment in the U.S. with an outsized impact on the consumer marketplace, Asian Pacific Americans have a genuine opportunity to emerge as a powerful economic force to influence energy and telecommunications issues and trends while enhancing economic vitality, protecting the environment and strengthening our communities.
Asian Pacific Americans were the nation’s fastest growing race or ethnic group in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Their population rose by 530,000, or 2.9% in the preceding year to 18.9 million.
Asian Pacific American Factoids:
- More than 60% of this growth in the Asian population came from international migration.
- California had both the largest Asian population of any state with 6 million and the largest increase of Asians—136,000 since July 2011.
- Hawaii is our nation’s only majority Asian state, 56.9% of the total population.
- Hawaii currently is the only state with Asians serving as state energy commissioners: Energy Commissioner Hermina Morita and Energy Commissioner Lorraine Akiba.
The mission of Asians in Energy is to lead Asian Pacific Americans on energy and telecommunications issues and trends to inspire understanding, expand knowledge and strengthen our communities.
WHO WE ARE
Established in 2013, Asians in Energy strives to proactively engage Asian Pacific Americans as well as overseas Asians on timely and critical issues in the U.S. energy and telecommunications market.
Asians in Energy provides a common educational platform for a wide range of interests in the energy and telecommunications community, including technology, jobs, funding and business opportunities, policy, contractor diversity, and environmental justice.
The organization seeks to convene thought leadership forums, develop online and social networking initiatives, and create community and business partnerships to raise awareness of the economic, security and environmental issues surrounding energy and telecommunications.
A real opportunity exists for Asians in Energy to highlight issues relevant to the Green Economy, which promotes a triple bottom line: sustaining and advancing economic, environmental and social well-being. Energy and telecommunications are areas where Asians have been historically viewed in the context of diversity business contracting, low-income assistance programs and environmental justice.
The vision of Asians in Energy will be the centralized, innovative source of information and programs for Asian Pacific American communities on a wide range of interests in the energy and telecommunications sector.
ASIANS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Asian Pacific American’s interest in environmental issues was highlighted in a 2009 poll by the California League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, which found that among Asians surveyed in California, 83% described themselves as “environmentalists” in comparison to just 52% of all California voters.
From the emerging green economy to China’s investment in green sustainability to jobs anticipated in the oil and natural gas industry and high-speed and heavy bandwidth transport needs, Asians have a genuine opportunity to play a role in driving forward the future of these industries, while both stimulating our economy and protecting and preserving our most precious resources.
As the saying goes: “As California goes, so goes the rest of the nation.” This is particularly befitting as California leads the nation on green energy with the Global Warming Solutions Act, known as AB 32. The leadership of Asians in Energy includes experts with extensive backgrounds in such areas as energy, utilities and outreach to multicultural communities.
WHY ASIANS IN ENERGY?
Asians in Energy is uniquely positioned to highlight and raise awareness of
energy and telecommunications policy, industry and market trends to Asian Pacific American communities. Of the vast number of Asian organizations, Asians in Energy is solely dedicated to enhancing Asian Pacific American participation in the energy and telecommunications sectors.
Of coarse, government agencies are constantly making efforts to outreach to ethnic populations throughout the state and it’s something they’re learning to get better at everyday. However, government resources to outreach to an Asian population is complicated by regional languages and cultures, making the effort difficult to maintain without a sustained program and budget.
Asians in Energy will focus on developing a well-conceived, cross-cultural communications and outreach strategy that takes into consideration the various Asian languages, cultures and ethnic media.
PROGRAMS & SERVICES
- Energy & Telecommunications Conferences/Events
Provide regional conferences and events with speakers, workshops, career fairs, and receptions.
A call for papers from Asians in Energy’s own membership base, in addition to the wider network of professionals to collaborate on diversity and solutions to the industries’ challenges.
- Social Media Initiative
Integrate social media efforts with content strategy to build and enhance Asians in Energy’s online presence to drive information to members and sponsors, in addition to informing online viewers on energy and telecommunications issues and trends.
Asians in Energy’s youth strategy will include raising the visibility and interest in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce to Asian youths from disadvantaged communities.
Asians in Energy awards scholarships to young men and women who wish to pursue a career in the energy or telecommunications industries.
- Jobs, Career & Leadership Development & Training
Provide seminars and online resources and webcasts to support Asian Pacific Americans in developing effective skills to meet the challenges of the energy and telecommunications sectors.
Careers in Energy
Most careers in energy are better paid than the same careers in other industries. And many do not require a college degree. With a high school diploma and four to five years of on-the job training with an employer, you can have a solid career without the college debt.
Which energy career is right for you? For instance, just in the solar power industry, a wide range of occupations exists in a number of major industry segments: research and development, manufacturing of solar power materials, construction of solar power plants, operation of solar power plants, and solar power installation and maintenance. Sales occupations are also integral to the solar power products industry.
Here are options in four broad areas of the energy sector, covering a variety of skill and education levels.
Engineering Careers: An engineer is someone who likes to solve problems. They can help make the nation’s electricity usage more efficient and more reliant on clean fuels. Now that’s a real difference!
Installation and Repair Careers: Installers and repairers are essential to the energy industry. They install, inspect, test, and repair electrical or mechanical equipment. These careers are also well-paying. Powerline installers and electrical and electronics repairers are among the top 10 best paying blue-collar careers in the United States.
Production Careers: Production workers in energy are mostly employed in power plants, often combining the duties of operators and technicians. Due to their high technical skills and union contracts in specific states, these workers can earn double the salary of what their counterparts in other industries earn.
Construction Careers: Since saving energy is as important as generating energy from scratch, all careers involved in energy-efficient construction and building operations belong to the energy sector. Some construction workers, like plumbers and pipelayers, can be employed in utilities as well as in commercial and residential building retrofitting.
Careers in Oil & Gas
The oil and natural gas industry expects to potentially create a total of 525,276 jobs from 2010-2020 in exploration, production and replacement of workers in the industry, according to a 2012 report issued by the American Petroleum Institute. Significant opportunities exist throughout exist throughout the petroleum industry currently and well into the future for workers with vocational certificates, 4-year and 2-year college degrees.
Of the projected 525,276 jobs, 298,290 would be generated by accelerated oil and natural gas development policy, with 86,355 of those jobs filled by minorities, says the API.
From 2010-2030, the industry expects to create a total of 810,793 jobs, states the API report.
More than one-half of all potential jobs would be skilled and semi-skilled blue collar jobs in the oil fields, says the API.
A significant share of potential jobs would be at the scientific and managerial level, such as petroleum engineers, most of which require a college degree, according to API.
Careers in Telecommunications
The work in a telecommunications job keeps everyone connected via phone, voice over IP, videoconference, digitally, and across internal and external networks. Telecom workers configure, install, test, troubleshoot and maintain systems; manage projects; and train users. Other telecommunications jobs involve adding, moving or changing a system’s users or solving users’ technical problems.
Telecommunications Job Market: Telecommunications job opportunities for equipment installers and repairers will grow 15% from 2010 to 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s about average. Demand will hold steady because new technology is always being launched, which keeps telecom technicians busy. However, growth in telecommunications employment in the maintenance sector may decline because the latest technology is very reliable.
The BLS says central office, PBX installer and headend technician jobs will be easier to find than station installer and repairer jobs because buildings are now prewired and wireless technology is reducing the need for installation and repair work.
Network and computer systems administrator jobs will grow faster than average—28% 2010 to 2020, says the BLS. That’s because organizations are investing in new technology and mobile networks.
Telecommunications Training: A training certificate or associate’s degree is usually required for a telecommunications technician job. Central office technicians and headend technicians increasingly need a bachelor’s degree. Employers typically provide on-the-job training as well, and may also send workers to education or training programs run by manufacturers.
Telecommunications careers that require analytical skills, such as network manager, telecommunications analyst or telecommunications project manager, most often call for a bachelor’s degree, although some companies will accept a two-year degree or work experience combined with certification.
Certifications in telecommunications are issued by manufacturers and trade associations and vary by specialty.
Telecommunications Salaries: The median salary for network and computer systems administrators was $70,970 in 2011 — among the highest in the industry, the BLS says. The top 10 percent earned $112,210. The median salary for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers was $53,960, according to the BLS. Telecom line installers and repairers earned a median of $51,720.