The city said its Solar Workforce Development Pilot is an innovative way to make strides with its ambitious climate protection goals as well as advance diversity and equity.
The City of St Louis has begun recruiting for a new green jobs workforce development programme that will be piloted this autumn.
The Solar Workforce Development Pilot is a collaboration between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and National Electrical Contractors Association, the St Louis Agency on Training and Employment, and community partners with expertise in the solar industry and/or workforce development.
“This is an innovative way for us to make strides with the City’s ambitious climate protection goals while advancing diversity and equity in the workforce at the same time,” said Lyda Krewson, mayor.
“We’re fortunate to have strong community partners willing to join us in taking a leadership role in this endeavour. I trust this pilot will deliver a tangible, comprehensive set of essential skills needed by city residents to participate in growing a green economy.”
The pilot was developed by the City’s Office of Sustainability with support from the Energy Foundation through the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge.
St Louis is one of 25 cities selected to participate in the Climate Challenge, an effort to resource cities to take strong action to reduce pollution that contributes to climate change and impacts public health.
“This initiative advances the City’s triple bottom line sustainability objectives with environmental, economic, and social benefits”
The pilot aims to place a group of 10- to 20 participants in a multi-faceted training programme with supervised field training and mentoring experiences. Solar array installation experts will provide installation instruction, supervise on-the-job training, and/or consider participants for hired positions.
While participants will receive a stipend and be eligible for additional wrap-around services during the programme, the objective is to position programme graduates into paid jobs or entry-level career opportunities.
Employment Connection, a local non-profit organisation, will coordinate the programme, which is designed to address barriers experienced by unemployed and underemployed city residents.
“This initiative advances the City’s triple bottom line sustainability objectives with environmental, economic, and social benefits. It also centres equity in our ever-expanding regional green economy, by establishing a nexus for new green job skills while promoting the City’s climate action objectives and the local use of renewable energy,” added Catherine Werner, sustainability director for the City of St Louis.
Other partners include: Renew Missouri, which will assist with identifying potential employers, educate programme participants about the local solar industry, and integrate the pilot as part of its Renew STL Solar programme; Straight Up Solar, which will provide job shadowing and mentoring; and Washington University in St Louis, which will provide evaluation support.
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