Building Vermont’s Climate Workforce to Achieve Vermont’s GHG Emission Reduction Goals
To achieve Vermont’s required greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, we need to train thousands of Vermonters with the skills to electrify our transportation sector, install clean energy solutions, weatherize homes, build net zero commercial buildings, and sustainably manage our working lands, forests and waterways. Right now we are not building and sustaining this climate workforce pipeline. While there have been past efforts to address workforce shortages, we need a laser focus now on equitably and inclusively growing the climate workforce, specifically if we are to comply with state laws.
Whether it be demographics, changing preferences, or fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, a lack of workers mustn’t slow progress to achieve Vermont’s required greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. There are approximately 18,900 Vermonters who currently participate in occupations that are part of Vermont’s climate workforce – far short of the number we need to keep pace as policy is put in place to lead the transition forward. In late 2021, the Energy Action Network (EAN) Climate Workforce Network Action Team was created with a goal to scale up the number of workers participating in these fields. Here’s how we’re organizing our efforts to make progress and grow Vermont’s climate workforce:
Employee-Centered Working Group
The Employee-Centered Working Group will learn from potential climate workforce employees, including individuals who have not traditionally participated in climate occupations, about their employment needs and desires. The Working Group is exploring effective messaging and communication tactics and technologies to reach these different demographics. They are beginning their work this fall by reviewing research that has already been done in Vermont, and plan to reach out to a variety of demographic groups such as: youth, women, new Americans, BIPOC Vermonters, LGBTQ Vermonters, and people in recovery.
The Employer-Centered Working Group will convene employers in the climate workforce space to learn from them and coordinate activities to bolster and support their needs. The Working Group is deploying an employer survey this fall. Survey results will be reviewed and shared, with a goal of developing strategies to help with recruitment and retention of workers. PLEASE TAKE THE SURVEY TODAY if you are a climate sector employer!
Funding and Communications
After learning more from both employers and potential employees, the Network Action Team plans to address funding and communications needs to support workforce growth in these sectors.
If you are interested in getting involved in any of these working groups, please let Cara know at email@example.com.
Network members and partners working on this effort:
- State Legislators
- Advance Vermont
- Associated General Contractors of Vermont
- Efficiency Vermont
- Laborer’s International Union of North America
- OEO Weatherization Assistance Program
- Neighborworks of Western Vermont
- Renewable Energy Vermont
- Vermont Adult Learning
- Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
- Vermont Technical College
- Vermont Works for Women
- and others
Recording of the first meeting of the full coalition December 6, 2021 with 42 attendees
Video of this Pitch at the October 2021 EAN Summit
If you are interested in learning more or getting involved in this project, please contact Cara Robechek firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Network Action Team projects were selected by the Network membership through a competitive process at the EAN annual summit. Although Network members may support specific policy actions as part of their work on these Action Teams, EAN staff serve in the role of neutral convener and refrain from advocating for specific policies.