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New Technology Can Make Up for Utility Worker Shortages

Todd Carney's picture
Writer, Freelance

Todd Carney is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Communications. He writes on many different aspects of energy, in particular how it...

  • Member since 2021
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  • Jun 24, 2022

Power Engineering conducted an interesting interview with the leader of the company, Librestream. This company aims to leverage technology to make up for likely shortages in workers in the energy field.

About 50 percent of current energy field workers will be eligible for retirement within 10 years. If most of them take their retirement when they are immediately eligible, then that could result in extreme shortages in experienced workers. While younger workers can be brought up to speed, it can still take some time for these workers to be brought up to speed. The technology from Librestream aims to make it easy to disperse this information in the field to help new workers.

The technology takes extensive papers and guides on how to work with utility work, puts it in a digestible format for workers in the field to easily access. As a result, someone can quickly become up to speed on how to do the job and deal with any problems that come up. This is not only important for replacing retirees, but it can also help with worker shortages, which much of the world is dealing with right now for many industries.

Furthermore, millennials are replacing retirees. On the whole millennials have left jobs after two to three years, so there might be a constant need to take new workers up to speed. This is a particular change from the past, because it used to be that when a company hired someone, it would be for 20 to 40 years.

Librestream is constantly working on new systems to leverage technology in order to make utility maintenance and administration more efficient. So even though these new workers may be less knowledgeable than their predecessors, the new technology may help them be more efficient because they will have a greater abundance of resources.

Additionally, this technology can increase efficiency. With utilities, it is crucial to prevent anything from going on. Human error can cause problems, so if computers can check them, that prevents any issues that typically come from human error.

Right now Librestream is utilizing computers to provide instant recognition to parts, so if someone does not recognize something on say a utility pipeline, they do not have to wait for someone to help them. Additionally, they are using videos to teach new employees, rather than being trained in person. This is just the beginning, Librestream and other companies are going to continue to utilize technology to improve efficiency and accuracy.


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