The energy industry is on the cusp of experiencing a major boom in job growth. A new report from the National Urban League projects 40 percent of the electric and natural gas utility employees will be eligible to retire in the next five years, leaving room for motivated, qualified individuals to potentially claim millions of vacant well-paying positions.

Calvin Butler, the first Black CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric, joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss diversity in the energy industry and the opportunities the industry can offer to the African-American community.

The jobs within the industry are not just about delivering electricity and gas. “This is a growth sector you can branch off into many areas, (including) corporate development, M&A (mergers and acquisitions) activity,” said Butler.

For those students who are not interested in pursuing a four-year degree, the CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric explained the energy and utility field is tapping into those individuals and saying, “If you want to come here, there’s opportunities for you.”

There are a few prerequisites to ensure that younger individuals coming out of high school can take advantage of the opportunities in the energy industry. Butler advised those interested to “keep their nose clean because we’re a regulated industry. We have employees go into people’s homes and doing jobs that are life and death.”

Butler also explained those who are interested in entering the energy sector can receive training to do the job, but also receive training before the test that deems you eligible for employment.

“The test is made difficult, but not impossible, because we want the best of the best,” Butler said.

Watch Roland Martin, Calvin Butler, CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss job opportunities in the energy industry in the video clip above.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

Watch NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.

SEE ALSO:

Watch NewsOne Now Special: ‘Is School Choice The Black Choice?’

Also On News One: