By MIRIAM ACZEL
The Leaders in Energy (LE) 6th Annual Green Jobs Forum: Jobs for a Low-Carbon, Circular Economy, was held on August 22, 2019 at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. A wide range of green employers and organizations had exhibits at the forum, which provided a crucial opportunity for networking amongst employers, jobseekers, students and investors to learn about job openings, training and skill-building options, and other exciting developments in the mission towards greener, more sustainable world. Career Confidence, University of Virginia’s McIntire Business Institute, Virginia Clean Energy Summit, Clean Choice Energy, and the National Capital Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers were among the exhibitors at this year’s Green Jobs Forum.
University of Virginia’s McIntire Business Institute (MBI) offers a Certificate in Sustainable Business which aims to prepare both working professionals and students alike to harness cutting-edge innovation that can help the environment, the economy, and local communities. With their unique focus on people and the planet in addition to profit, and through integration of traditional business skills with revolutionary thinking, UVA’s Sustainable Business program empowers graduates to protect our planet’s delicate ecosystems while simultaneously “increasing business opportunities for a greater good”. The innovative Sustainable Business Certificate curriculum was co-developed with the environmental non-profit GreenBlue, the 14-week online course equips participants with a broad range of knowledge and a strong background in topics ranging from Sustainable Design; Energy and Climate Change; Biodiversity and Water; Lifecycle Assessment; Marketing Sustainability; Sustainability and Finance, among others. See MBI Professor Mark White’s article ‘Empowering Sustainable Business Leaders‘ on the Leaders in Energy blog to learn more.
Virginia Clean Energy Summit held their inaugural Clean Energy Summit on September 17 at the Greater Richmond Conference Center. The Summit which presented the cutting edge in clean energy technologies, policies, and business practices that are drastically transforming the energy landscape by creating opportunities for Virginia businesses while building a greener, more reliable energy system. The main objective of the Summit was to showcase opportunities and promote collaboration to facilitate use of more renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, promote energy efficiency, and encourage use of storage and electric vehicle technologies among other clean energy solutions. With a focus on highlighting synergies among clean- and green-tech and businesses as well as the emerging consumer, environmental, and business opportunities, the event featured keynotes, plenary panels, and breakout workshops. The conference attendees included representatives from both state and local governments, academia, and NGOs, non-profits, and businesses. Part of the summit was held in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance‘s third annual MAPA Forum on Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE).
Career Confidence is dedicated to improve individuals’ success by providing access to expert job search skills, educational resources, as well as providing crucial encouragement while navigating the job search, and expressing Christian compassion. A non-profit run mostly by a dedicated team of volunteers, Career Confidence is well-connected with both recruiters and with placement firms in communities in the Greater DMV area. Career Confidence has a growing list of free business educational seminars, often running multiple times a week in Virginia and Maryland, featuring a wide range of inspirational speakers with professional experience as recruiters or a similar positions. Importantly, Career Confidence places a high value on small groups, and the seminars provide plenty of networking and discussion opportunities, as well as a focus on crucial practical applications. Check out their blog for articles with advice on job search tips, mastering the job interview, career management and future planning, among other topics.
CleanChoice Energy is a Clean Energy Supplier whose stated mission, from the outset, has been to make clean energy accessible for everybody. CleanChoice Energy’s mission is to help switch as many homes and businesses too clean, renewable energy as possible—and in the process, drastically improve the entire electricity market. They’re working towards a greener planet fueled by clean, green renewable energy and with better air quality for all. Importantly, with CleanChoice Energy, customers don’t need to install solar panels or own their home or office space in order to reduce the environmental impact of their energy use. Rather, once clients make the switch, Clean Choice Energy ensures that all the energy used is from 100% clean wind and solar power. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for customers to make a big impact on the air we breathe, and on the environment. Clean Choice Energy is actively pursuing and developing novel products and services to help empower consumers to become more energy efficient, and live cleaner, greener lives.On top of their ambitious clean energy plans, CleanChoice Energy now offers options for community solar, which allows consumers to connect to a nearby solar farm that produces energy on their behalf, promoting both greener energy and stronger communities.
National Capital Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers – Another exhibitor at the Green Jobs Forum was the DC chapter of the organization Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). AEE is a a nonprofit professional society with nearly 20,000 members in over 100 countries. AEE specializes in skills training, membership development, chapter development, and education and certifications for energy professionals focusing on management, renewable energy and green buildings. The organization has a wide range of outreach programs including seminars, books, journals, conferences and other events, and certification programs. AEE’s goal is to promote cooperative action in advancing the common goals of its diverse members members, and their mission is “to promote the scientific and educational interests of those engaged in the energy industry and to foster action for Sustainable Development.” The National Capital Chapter of the AEE is a very active chapter, with around 12-15 events per year. The National Capital Chapter also acts as the professional mentor chapter for three DMV-area student chapters–George Mason University, George Washington University, and the University of Maryland. The National Capital Chapter also has a very active branch of the Council on Women in Energy & Environmental Leadership (CWEEL), a division of AEE that provides a network for women in the energy and environmental industries with further career support opportunities.
Read about the rest of the 2019 Green Jobs Forum exhibitors here
Have you been inspired by Leaders in Energy members and speakers working in green jobs whom you’ve met at one of our events? Are you looking to land, create, pivot into, or move up into your dream green job? Green Career Momentum (GCM) is a career development program and job network for those seeking new jobs and related opportunities. Join Beth Offenbacker at this online Information Session to find out more about the Green Career Momentum program and decide if it might be right for you.
To learn more, attend our free online GCM Info Session on Monday, October 7 from 6:30-7:30pm Eastern: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/information-session-green-career-momentum-tickets-75141130143
Miriam Aczel is a President’s Scholar PhD Candidate at Imperial College London’s Centre for Environmental Policy. Her research is on international energy science and policy, with a focus on mitigation of environmental and health impacts of shale gas, greenhouse gas removal technologies, and citizen science and public participation mechanisms. She is also co-founder and co-director of the Amir D. Aczel Foundation for Research and Education in Science and Mathematics, a nonprofit supporting educational programs in Cambodia and beyond.
Miriam is Director of Communications and blog editor for Leaders in Energy.