It’s not every day that workers get to tell representatives of Congress how federal programs affect their work lives. But that’s just what happened when union members working on clean energy projects in Illinois, Maine, and New York spoke about the impact of federal climate investments in their communities to the Clean Energy Workers Roundtable hosted by the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC).
Kilton Webb, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 567 told the Roundtable how his union is training clean energy workers in Maine:
I’m in my final year as an apprentice, and after five years, I have put in 8,000 work hours on commercial, industrial, and solar fields. The work is hard, but rewarding because I am part of this new clean energy industry that is doing great things for the state of Maine. It’s also exciting because of the potential of having more union jobs ready for the next generation of workers. Students who were in middle and high school when I started my journey of becoming an electrician are now apprentices that I work with and teach every day.
To watch the Roundtable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91Tl4MbrboM
For the press release on the Roundtable: https://seec.house.gov/media/press-releases/seec-celebrates-climate-workers-advancing-americas-clean-energy-future.
A new report from the Climate Jobs at Cornell University’s ILR School called Building an Equitable, Diverse, and Unionized Clean Energy Economy: What We Can Learn from Apprenticeship Readiness, includes policy recommendations and case studies from California, Illinois, and New York.
To read the full report: https://ecommons.cornell.edu/items/e147af32-44aa-4c3f-a2a2-cdd87f549d29
Watch the report launch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-u2M2UJhpw