MISSOULA - Missoula’s Clean Energy Workforce Coalition (CEWC) has been awarded the American Made Community Clean Energy Coalition prize of $150,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The money will be used to launch a pilot program focused on building clean-energy career pathways and internships for low-income women and marginalized communities.
The CEWC is comprised of Climate Smart Missoula, Missoula Economic Partnership, Missoula County, and Mountain Home Montana.
As Missoula looks to reach its sustainability and clean energy goals, the increase in jobs in areas like solar panel installation coming from the CEWC will be a step forward.
“There’s this huge need in the workforce to move towards the clean energy transition. One of the best things that we can do to meet our local climate goals is to electrify our buildings, our transportation, and then also to expand the grid and do that with renewable energy, Climate Smart Missoula program director Shanti Devins explained. "So, there’s so many different facets of electrification that we need skilled labor in that will help us meet our climate goals.”
Training will be offered for both employers and employees to build a more diverse and gender-inclusive work environment.
“I know from working with many local employers that they are interested in seeing more women enter these career pathways, especially in the trades. [They] want to expand their workforce in that way and I think this [project] will help create a new avenue to do that,” said Missoula Economic Partnership deputy director Nicole Rush.
The project includes increased support for single mothers. Devins explained that Mountain Home Montana is breaking down barriers to give single mothers access to stable childcare and welcoming workplaces.
"We want a healthy, sustainable community that's equitable," Devins stated.
Visit https://www.missoulaclimate.org/workforce-coalition.html for additional information about the program. People who want to inquire about employment opportunities can email firstname.lastname@example.org.