Author: Morgan Lyons Published: Sep 25 2019 SEIA
“BUT HOW IS THIS INFORMATION REACHING THE BLACK COMMUNITY NATIONALLY WITHOUT ANY MAJOR ADVERTISING DOLLARS BEING SPENT WITH BLACK OWNED MEDIA FORM THE SOLAR INDUSTRY”
SALT LAKE CITY – As part of the solar industry’s commitment to promoting a diverse and inclusive workforce, customer base and supply chain, Solar Power International (SPI) and North America Smart Energy Week (NASEW) 2019 featured an array of new programming to address and discuss diversity & inclusion challenges.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) hosted two new receptions on Tuesday: the SEIA Blacks in Energy Reception and the SEIA LGBTQ+ Reception. These events gave hundreds of attendees, community members and allies an opportunity to celebrate equity in the solar industry and make professional connections.
“As 20,000 members of the solar community converge in Salt Lake City, we want to use this opportunity to demonstrate that the solar industry welcomes and celebrates people of all backgrounds,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA. “As we enter the Solar+ Decade and advocate for policies that promote solar growth, we must be thoughtful about who has access to cleaner air, jobs, and business opportunities. This work is core to who we are as an industry and must become an imperative.”
SPI and NASEW 2019 are featuring more than a dozen diversity and inclusion-focused programs, including:
- Leveraging Public Resources for Solar Workforce Development
- NAACP Solar Equity Initiative: Elevating Clean Energy as a Matter of Civil Rights
- New Ways Underserved Communities are Going Solar and Their Keys to Success
- Scaling Up Low- and Moderate- Income Solar Access
- SEIA Blacks in Energy Reception
- SEIA LGBTQ+ Reception
- Solar Industry Diversity and Inclusion: New Data and the Path Forward
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Clean Jobs Sector
- Women in Solar & Storage Luncheon
- WRISE Solar and Storage Networking Reception
In May, SEIA launched its Diversity Challenge initiative, challenging the energy sector to mount a sustained effort to address diversity & inclusion in their industries. Since then, SEIA has forged new partnerships and participated in numerous events and programming, including two panels during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Leadership Conference.
In the coming weeks, SEIA will join onto The Hispanic Promise, a first-of-its-kind national pledge to hire, promote, retain and celebrate Hispanics in the workplace. This builds on SEIA’s pledge to CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance workplace diversity and inclusion. So far, 80 SEIA member companies and allies have taken the pledge.
To learn more about SEIA’s work on diversity and inclusion, visit http://www.seia.org/diversity.
Celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2019, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, which now employs more than 242,000 Americans. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to build jobs and diversity, champion the use of cost-competitive solar in America, remove market barriers and educate the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.
Morgan Lyons, SEIA’s Senior Communications Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 556-2872
HBCU Talent Exchange – Diversify Your Hiring Practices
Monday, Jan 21 2019
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day commemorates the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize and an activist for non-violent social change who was assassinated in 1968. This national observation of the civil rights leader is a day of service during which people, companies, and organizations are encouraged to give back to their communities. Many SEIA members will be spending today, or other days this week, participating in days of service and engaging with their local communities.
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, SEIA is releasing a video with our partners at the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Community Development Action Coalition (HBCU CDAC). Natasha Campbell, Director of the HBCU CDAC Clean Energy Initiative, along with her colleagues at WorkFountain, shared information about a recruitment tool that may be of interest to solar companies across the U.S. The HBCU Clean Energy Initiative was established to support and strategically engage the nation’s 107 HBCUs to expand access to clean energy and energy efficiency on campuses and adjacent communities where HBCUs are located by catalyzing HBCUs resources and relationships to connect with low-income individuals and families. This includes the development and deployment of coordinated solar and energy efficiency workforce programs through collaboration with organizations like SEIA and other interested stakeholders, with an strong focus on efforts to create a more diverse clean energy workforce. SEIA kicked off a partnership with the HBCU CDAC in 2018, and this is the first of many resources and programs our collaborative effort aims to deliver.
Many solar employers struggle to find and hire qualified candidates. The Solar Training Network notes that 84 percent of installers reported difficulty finding qualified applicants, and 26 percent reported it was “very difficult.” We see the connection between SEIA and the HBCU CDAC’s Talent Exchange as one way we can help our member companies address hiring challenges, while simultaneously reducing hiring bias and mismatches between job seekers and companies. The Talent Exchange moves beyond resume and job description searches to share more accurate information that helps both employers and job seekers make more informed hiring decisions. Through a survey based on the specific needs of the position, the platform quickly scores each candidate to assess their alignment for the opening and shares the results with both the recruiter and the candidate through the Talent Exchange’s Fit Assessment®.
Reducing bias and increasing diversity in the recruiting process is at the core of this technology. In addition to removing the reliance on resumes during the screening process, employers can mask candidate inform