New York Solar Seminars
The Solar Workforce Awakens: Promoting Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in the New York Solar Industry
Zoom Video Webinar
October 27, 2021
This career development webinar will look at how justice, equity, diversity & inclusion—the JEDI values—can make the New York solar industry an effective ally in addressing social issues, as well as an attractive place for young professionals to build their skills and careers. What does allyship mean in the context of the solar industry and how can companies implement it to foster a diverse and successful workforce?
Panels will discuss not only corporate human resources and hiring practices, but also personal practices like mentorship, team building, and active listening that create inclusive and flourishing workplaces. Leading mentors from the clean energy industry will also share minority perspectives on entering the sector, accessing resources, joining communities, and growing networks.
Thank You to Our Sponsors
1:00–1:10 — Welcome and Introduction
Fayeann Lawrence, Founder and CEO, Sologistics
1:10–1:45 — Good Allies: How to Build Trust and Empower Colleagues
What does allyship mean in the context of the solar industry and how can companies implement it to foster a diverse and successful workforce? How can individual leaders become change agents within their company and sector? This panel will discuss not only corporate human resources and hiring practices, but also personal practices like mentorship, team building, and active listening that create inclusive and flourishing workplaces.
Esther Morales, Executive Director, Clean Energy Leadership Institute
Gerard Neely, Director, Business and Market Development, Madison Energy Investments (Moderator)
Dana Sleeper, Founder and CEO, The Sleeper Group
Nicole Steele, Senior Advisor for Equity and Workforce, U.S. Department of Energy, Solar Energy Technologies Office
1:45–2:20 — Solar MWBEs in the Empire State
What does it take to launch a solar business in the Empire State? This panel will look at solar entrepreneurship from a minority perspective, with advice and best practices for getting established, accessing resources, joining communities, and growing networks. In addition to insight from traditional entrepreneurs, panelists will address “rebel” business models such as nonprofits, B Corps, and cooperatives.
Charles Callaway, Director of Organizing, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Darina Mayfield, Senior Project Manager, Workforce Development and Training, NYSERDA
Kiana Michaan, Project Coordinator, Sologistics
Stephan Roundtree, Jr., Northeast Director, Vote Solar (Moderator)
Lincoln Xia, Vice President, Corporate Development, Accord Power
2:20–2:55 — Pass On What You Have Learned: Skills, Training, and Opportunities
What skills are in demand for New York solar? Where and how do you develop them? What are the best ways to get hired? This panel will discuss the educational and career development skills young professionals need to find opportunities and excel in solar development. Leading mentors from the clean energy industry will share their experiences in the sector.
Kamaj Bailey, Senior Organizational Development Consultant, Con Edison
Jonaliza Ceklic, Community Affairs Manager, Eden Renewables (Moderator)
Bruno Estrada, Resilient Solar Associate, Solar One
Bridgit Kodenkandath, Rotational Program Associate, EDF Renewables North America
Shawn O'Brien, President and CEO, North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners