Category: Green jobs

DOE announces $109.5M to support jobs and economic growth in coal and power plant communities

In connection with a White House report on economic revitalization in coal and power plant communities, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $109.5 million in funding for projects that directly support job creation in communities impacted by changes in the energy economy—the first results of a government-wide initiative launched by President Biden in the first week of his administration to boost the economic potential of coal and power plant communities. The White House Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization, housed within DOE, also selected a new Executive Director to spearhead interagency efforts. 

“The coal and power plant workers who built our nation can play a huge role in making America’s clean energy future a reality, and this report outlines just the first steps the Biden Administration is taking to make sure they have those opportunities—right in their communities,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.

“This new DOE funding will help spark next-generation industries that these workers can not only participate in, but lead, and I look forward to working together on investments and strategies that empower, revitalize, and retain and create jobs in our energy communities.”

Jennifer M. Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy

“For generations, our coal miners have sacrificed their health and safety to mine the coal that forged the steel and provided the power that made the United States the greatest nation in the world,” said Senator Joe Manchin. “I am encouraged to see President Biden acknowledge these contributions and start to allocate the resources that will be required to reinvest in these communities who have suffered huge job losses. I applaud today’s funding announcements for innovative technologies to tackle climate change and provide new opportunities for these hard-hit areas. In addition, the up to $15 million investment in important research conducted at West Virginia University is a small but first step in the right direction and I will continue working with the Administration to ensure additional, significant investments throughout West Virginia to provide meaningful opportunity and economic growth.”

The Interagency Working Group named Brian Anderson as its Executive Director. A longtime resident of West Virginia and a descendant of coal miners, Anderson serves as director of DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory with facilities in Morgantown, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Albany, Oregon, and is a renowned scientist with extensive expertise in technology development for carbon management in hard-to-decarbonize sectors. In addition, DOE identified senior staff from its Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, Office of Energy Jobs, and Office of Indian Energy who will also support the work of the Interagency Working Group.  

“It is a great honor to be named Executive Director of this essential effort,” said Anderson. “I am excited to immediately begin this important work, reaching across the agencies of the federal government to ensure that the economies of traditional energy and power plant communities are strengthened, and my first priority will be to engage people where they work and live so that these hard hit communities have a hand in developing opportunities and solutions for their future.”

Complementing investments in hydrogen, carbon capture, and environmental remediation proposed in the American Jobs Plan, the Interagency Working Group report lays out a national roadmap to partner with local communities to ensure that the shift to a clean energy economy creates good-paying union jobs, spurs economic revitalization, and supports energy workers in coal, oil and gas and power plant communities. In the near term, it recommends creating jobs through remediation projects for oil and gas wells and coal mineswork that energy workers are well-suited for and allows economic development of under-utilized land. For the medium and long terms, the report calls for investing in low-carbon industries through technology such as carbon capture and hydrogen.

The $109.5 million in funding DOE announced today will support innovative projects that will retain and rebuild jobs in energy communities, including:

  • $75 million funding opportunity to engineer carbon capture projects. This funding will support customized engineering designs to install carbon capture and storage technology for power and industrial plants. Retrofitting with carbon capture technology could employ a similar workforce that exists today in energy communities and position American industry to compete in a global economy that is rapidly turning toward decarbonization. More information about the funding opportunity HERE.
     
  • $19.5 million in funding awards for critical mineral extraction from coal and associated waste streams. Critical minerals are vital to the manufacture of batteries, magnets, and other important components for making electric vehicles (EV) fleet and other clean energy technology. Coal communities and workers could be well-positioned to see new industrial jobs extracting critical materials from the waste left behind by coal mining and coal power plants in many areas.
     
  • $15 million for geothermal energy research projects at West Virginia University and Sandia National Laboratories. DOE will provide up to $15 million for two projects to help drive down costs and risks associated with the discovery of new geothermal resources for power production and heating-cooling. West Virginia University (WVU) will use the funding to explore year-round deep-direct use heating and cooling on campus. Sandia National Laboratories will use innovative approaches to conduct electromagnetic surveys to refine geothermal exploration methods and aid drillers as they explore for geothermal energy in the Western United States, a potential opportunity to create jobs for laid-off oil and gas workers.

The Interagency Working Group also identified nearly $38 billion in existing federal funding that could be accessed by energy communities for infrastructure, environmental remediation, union job creation, community revitalization, and jobs well-suited to support hard-hit energy communities. As part of this effort, DOE’s Loan Programs Office released a factsheet to facilitate access to $8.5 billion in funding for deployment of carbon capture technology to enable low-carbon manufacturing of cement, steel, and other industrial products in addition to power plants.

The Interagency Working Group’s report, as outlined by President Biden’s January 27 executive order on tackling the climate crisis, identifies 25 communities across the country hardest hit by coal mine and power plant closures and calls for these areas to be priorities for both existing and future federal investment.

Read the full report of the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization here.

Online map showcases construction-related careers in booming green sector

Read the full story at Utility Dive.

A group of energy-efficiency organizations has launched an online tool designed to help U.S. workers research career paths in the booming field of green building.

The interactive Green Buildings Career Map highlights career opportunities in building energy efficiency, with 55 jobs across four industry sectors, as well as over 300 potential advancement routes. It was developed with input from industry subject matter experts to help interested candidates learn about quality jobs related to energy efficiency in buildings.

The initiative, supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office, was designed to foster a robust and inclusive pipeline of qualified workers to meet employer demand, said Larry Sherwood, CEO of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, one of its developers. “This is crucially important to sustaining the rapid growth of this important industry and ensuring the benefits of employment in this sector are accessible to more people,” he said in a release.

We need to get the next generation excited about green jobs

Read the full story from edie.

As we look towards a green economic recovery and the objective to build back better from the pandemic, there is a clear argument for aligning how we futureproof the country’s workforce with UK climate ambitions.

Webinar: The Human Side of Sustainability

April 20, 2021, noon-1 pm CDT
Register here.

Loyola University Chicago, in partnership with its Quinlan School of Business and School of Environmental Sustainability, presents a discussion of the impact of sustainability on people and communities, and the measures business can take. Speakers from supply chain, workforce development, and food insecurity will discuss training the workforce of tomorrow and the role of business in addressing sustainability opportunities in their communities.

Moderator:

  • Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group

Speakers:

  • Çerağ Pinçe, Assistant Professor, Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University Chicago
  • Kevin Stevens, Dean, Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University Chicago
  • John Caltagirone, Educator & Advisor, Supply & Value Chain Strategy, Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University Chicago
  • Kim Peterson, Director, Environmental & Sustainability Development, Morton Salt

DOE seeks Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency

Closing date: 04/06/2021
For more information and to apply

This position will lead an organization which assists in reducing the Nation’s dependence on foreign energy resources, the energy intensity of our economy, and the environmental impact of our industrial processes, while achieving cost-effective product quality enhancements and improving our competitiveness in the global marketplace.

As the “Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for Energy Efficiency (EE)” you will:

  • Serve as the most senior official within EERE focused exclusively on energy efficiency programs, policies, and initiatives. Advise the Assistant Secretary and senior Department officials on the technical monitoring, evaluation and implementation of initiatives related to EERE’s Building Technologies Office, Advanced Manufacturing Office, Federal Energy Management Programs Office, and Weatherization and Intergovernmental Office. Advise senior DOE management, administration, executive branch, and industry leadership.
  • Oversee and direct subordinate Offices under the purview of EE. Direct organizational activities and frame strategic plans. Set internal control standards for effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity and assess all organizational policy, program, and project viability. Determine financial and personnel resources needed to achieve mission objectives and support mission operations.
  • Oversee and direct internal organization, staffing, policies, and personnel authorities required to carry out the responsibilities of EE. Provide administrative and technical direction of EE and its program offices including supervision of a large group of professional and administrative employees. Direct the development and implementation of the strategic allocation of human resources across EE Offices.
  • Represents the Assistant Secretary with other Federal and State Government Agencies, Congress, private industry, and associations to identify, analyze, and resolve technical institutional, public policy, programmatic and managerial issues impacting the Office’s programs and develops Departmental positions concerning these issues.
  • Oversee the assessments of current program performance, technologies, deliverables, and input from stakeholders in industry, National Laboratories, and other external constituencies.
  • Direct the coordination and review of EE programs’ utilization of agencies, national research laboratories, and other government facilities and equipment to develop centers of research excellence in support of the EERE mission and assure the integration and coordination of all program activities across EERE, DOE and the government.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of multi-year program plans and annual operating plans and manage the application of assigned resources to effectively achieve planned objectives. Develop annual program budget requirements, approve and manage the use and distribution of funds, and provide interpretive guidance to research performing organizations.

Solar project aims to deliver training and equity to North Minneapolis

Read the full story at Energy News Network.

A pioneer in Minnesota’s solar industry is partnering with Black entrepreneurs in North Minneapolis on a project designed to provide job training and affordable solar power in an area with a legacy of pollution and disinvestment.

Job announcement: TURI Director & Research Professor

The Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI), a world-renowned research, practice, and education institute located at UMass Lowell, is looking for a Director and experienced researcher to provide strategic, organizational, and fiscal leadership to the Institute. The successful candidate will split their time between Institute Director responsibilities and research and scholarship activities. Research leadership and grant funding are an important component of this position. Applicants will be considered for Research Professor status as part of the interview process. The TURI Director is expected to support half of their salary through external funding.

The Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute’s main responsibility is to implement the Commonwealth’s Toxics Use Reduction Act. The Institute assists companies, environmental health and safety professionals, communities, and governments in Massachusetts and beyond in their toxics use reduction, pollution prevention, and safer chemistry efforts through education and training, research, grants, laboratory services, and information and technical support for companies and communities.

TURI Director: The TURI Director provides strategic, organizational, and fiscal leadership for the Institute in collaboration with designated TURI Affiliated Faculty and TURI staff managers. Responsibilities include strategic and organizational planning, oversight of staff, ensuring stable funding for the Institute over time, representing the Institute within the University and externally to policymakers, business, and the public, and engaging with TURA partner agencies.

Research Professor: The TURI director will pursue scholarly activity that advances knowledge in a field directly related to TURI’s mission and will serve as a Research Professor in the Department of Public Health. Appropriate fields include toxics use reduction/pollution prevention, safer chemicals and materials, occupational health, environmental health or other related fields.

For more information and to apply, visit the UMass Lowell jobs website.

Biden wants solar jobs. People may not want them

Read the full story at E&E News.

As President Biden pushes to build out clean energy, he’ll have to contend with a problem: Solar jobs are hard to fill.

It’s a curious puzzle. The solar industry’s job rolls have expanded to hundreds of thousands of workers in recent years, as demand for rooftop solar and solar farms has spiked. The jobs offer decent wages, a sense of social mission and sometimes a path to quick promotion.

But solar firms face an array of difficulties keeping themselves staffed, even in a COVID-19 economy when so many are out of work.

Webinar: Green Economy in the Black Community

Wed, Feb 24, 2021 6-7 pm CST
Register here.

Throughout the month of February, the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club is celebrating Black History Month. This is an annual celebration that both reminds us of contributions and recognizes the achievements of Black people across all areas of life. For us, we are lifting up environmental champions.

African Americans have advanced every aspect of the environment including agriculture, water, energy, and environmental justice policies. We acknowledge the historical contributions of Illinois leaders from the Black community and also turn our attention to living innovators who are transforming lives and communities through legislation, business ownership, and relevant research.

In celebration of these history makers, we invite you to join us for a panel discussion entitled “Green Economy in the Black Community.” The panel will be moderated by Dr. Kim DeLaney, Director of Education and Programs at the DuSable Museum of African American History and will bring to light the intersections between environmentalism and green entrepreneurship in the Black community.

Join us for this timely discussion on the historical shifts to cleaner and greener businesses here in Illinois.

Greencorp Chicago Job Training Program is Now Recruiting For 2021

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) have announced that Greencorps Chicago, the City’s paid, green industry training program for individuals with barriers to employment, is now accepting applications for its 2021 class. The training program starts in late March and candidates are encouraged to apply before the end of February to maximize the chance of acceptance.  

This year’s program is receiving a boost of  $2 million, courtesy of a grant awarded by the State of Illinois’ Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) Program, created as a key equity element of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. The grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority is intended to help communities hardest hit by the failed war on drugs.  

“The City of Chicago remains strongly committed to creating opportunities for all of our residents and removing barriers for those who face challenges entering the job market,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Thanks to Greencorps, we are able to make this commitment a reality and harness the talents of those who have been excluded from our workforce for far too long. We are incredibly proud of and grateful for the great work Greencorps is doing to connect our residents with opportunities to get employed and get involved in the green economy right here in Chicago.” 

The mission of the CDOT-administered Greencorps program is to empower residents from Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods to create change in their lives and communities through training, service, and career opportunities in environmental fields.  

 “Greencorps Chicago provides a tremendous opportunity for Chicagoans who face challenges breaking into the job market to both earn a wage and gain invaluable experience and skills that prepare them for a productive career in the growing green job sector,” CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi said. “We are very pleased that the R3 Program is allowing us to expand the program and prepare more trainees for future success in jobs that will make Chicago a greener City.” 

Greencorps trainees earn $15-an-hour and receive on-the-job training in the field and classroom. Field training takes place while working on projects for the Chicago Park District, the Cook County Forest Preserves, City vacant lots, and other project partners. In the classroom, trainees will learn about horticulture, ecology, green infrastructure, tree care, pesticide use, and other topics.  

Greencorps trainees are also offered a Number of professional certifications including Defensive Driving Course, First Aid/CPR, OSHA Hazardous Waste Operator, OSHA 10-Hour Safety, Chicago Wilderness Prescription Burn Class, the Illinois Pesticide license and others.  

Throughout their time with Greencorps, trainees are supported with social services, mentoring, and professional coaching, increasing their ability to secure full time employment upon completion of the training.  

Trainees also have access to a placement coordinator that works with graduates to identify successful employment matches and post placement follow-up. Greencorps grads have gone on to work at the Chicago Park District, ecological restoration company Cardno, the Cook County Forest Preserves, and many other businesses and organizations. 

Interested candidates who want to apply for the Greencorps Chicago 2021 program should visit the website – https://greencorpschicago.org/apply/ – or call 312-746-9777.  

Follow Greencorps Chicago on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Greencorps-Chicago/254395609920 

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