Ralph Izzo, chairman, president and chief executive officer of PSEG urged energy companies to remain focused on workforce development during these times of economic uncertainty and stressed the unique role that utilities can play both in combating climate change and in creating good green jobs.

Izzo delivered the keynote remarks before the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD)'s "Building Energy Workforce Communities" summit in Orlando, Florida.

"With aggressive action, our industry could be an engine of one of the most significant waves of innovation, job creation and economic development in our nation's history," said Izzo. "The economic stimulus this can provide is especially needed in these difficult times. It is impossible to stress enough the importance of assuring people have good jobs to get the economy back on track."

Izzo added that to combat climate change, maintain historically high reliability and build more energy capacity, "our industry will need to mount the largest workforce development effort since the building of the electric grid 100 years ago." Izzo also stressed that the energy industry can be an engine for growth with above average salaries and the potential for millions of environmentally friendly green jobs over the next three decades. "The energy industry could be one of the fastest, if not the fastest growing segments of the economy for a long time."