Building Vermont’s Climate Workforce to Achieve Vermont’s GHG Emission Reduction Goals
- Climate Workforce: Community Feedback & Findings Report released March 2023
- Employer Survey to hear from employers in the Climate Workforce (Employers completing this survey will be eligible to be added to a raffle for a $150 prize draw)
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 sufficiently 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
In the winter of 2023 the Climate Workforce Team collaborated with six community organizations (CVOEO, ReSOURCE, Rights & Democracy, St. Johnsbury Community Hub, Vermont Energy Education Program and Vermont Works for Women) to learn about how people in different demographics might view job opportunities in the climate workforce, and how they get information about jobs. The findings from these focus groups were compiled into a Climate Workforce: Community Feedback & Findings Report.
The Employer-Centered Working Group convenes employers in the climate workforce space to learn from them and coordinate activities to bolster and support their needs. The Working Group hosted a webinar on Low and No Cost Strategies for retaining workers in February 2023. The group is alos deploying an employer survey. 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 (and be entered into a $150 prize draw).
Funding and Communications
The Network Action Team is bringing together what they have heard from both employers and potential employees, 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.