4-Part Webinar Series

“A Clean Energy Workforce that Represents Everyone”

Co-hosts of webinar series:
Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory
Colorado Solar & Storage Association (COSSA)
Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES)
Holy Cross Energy
American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE)

Webinar logistical host and contact:  Maury Dobbie, Executive Director, Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory   Maury.Dobbie@ColoradoCollaboratory.org

Webinar series description:  This four-part webinar series will focus on diversity, equity and inclusion to help employers retain and hire the future generation of clean energy employees.  The four webinars are free for live viewing or watching re-posted videos.  You will hear from experts working on how to create the pipeline of workers for the future, why a diverse workforce will increase your bottom line, and opportunities to engage with organizations both non-profit and for-profit who are sharing best practices.


Workforce Part 1:  Creating a diverse and inclusive clean energy workforce

Original air date:  Oct 6, 2020

Creating a diverse and inclusive clean energy workforce” This 60-minute webinar included experts promoting educational pathways in STEM and trade disciplines in the younger generation, high school and higher education answering how we can create a more diverse pipeline of future workers.   Shared was the importance of inspiring kids from third grade and beyond so we can fill the pipeline of future STEM enthusiasts.  They discussed how to build diversity within industry and career pathways.  They talked about how to create internships, mentorships, job training, and promoting women, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in the career ladder.  The goal was for attendees to come away with an understanding that a strong workforce includes purposeful inclusion of underserved populations because this enhances a business’s bottom line.

Moderator:  Rickey Frierson, Director of Diversity, College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University

(Younger generation)  Kristen Wilkinson, Program Director, Environmental Learning Center, Colorado State University
(Apprenticeships) Hollis Salway, Director of Development and Research, CareerWise Colorado

Click here to watch re-posted video, read speaker bios & see PPT slide decks shared during webinar.


Workforce Part 2:  Here’s what you’re missing-Why hiring and retaining a diverse workforce is imperative for your business

This 60-minute webinar featured a keynote speaker sharing data how hiring a diverse workforce will help their bottom line.  For the sake of our energy, environmental and climate justice future, the picture must include not only white men but women, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Study after study also shows that companies with more diverse workforces and executive boards see higher financial returns.  The speaker shared how to accomplish an inclusive and diverse workforce.  Attendees will have access to data to help internal advocacy efforts to increase diversity hiring efforts.

Moderator:  Monique Dyers, President/CEO, Ensight Energy Consulting

Keynote speaker:  Deidre Sanders, Principal, ArkSpring Consulting

Workforce Part 2 co-host:   AABE    About AABE:  The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) is a national association of energy professionals founded and dedicated to ensure the input of African Americans and other minorities into the discussions and developments of energy policy regulations, R&D technologies, and environmental issues.


Click here to watch re-posted video and read speaker bios


Workforce Part 3:  Diversity in Hiring:  Practical case studies by non-profits and organizations

This 60-minute webinar discussed ideas in how to build a diverse clean energy ecosystem and workforce. This session covered the importance of mentoring and championing girls, women, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in energy fields through education, internships, job and career pathways. Experts shared different ways businesses can both support and tap into programs to recruit their future workforce. Example programs that are targeting underrepresented communities include the ‘She’s in Power’ initiative, Grid Alternatives, Solar Energy International, and other organizations.  Attendees came away with ideas they can explore for the future including organizations they can contact.

Moderator:  Rickey Frierson, Director of Diversity, College of Natural Resources, Colorado State Univ


Wanda Lee-Stevens, Talent and Acquisition Director, GRID Alternatives
Kathy Swartz, Executive Director, Solar Energy International (SEI)
Maury Dobbie, Executive Director, Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory

Click here to watch re-posted video and read speaker bios 


Workforce Part 4:  Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace:  Industry case studies in the clean energy field

This 60-minute webinar featured successful inclusion and diversity programs inside companies, why they work, and how it helps their bottom line.  Experts in specific companies in multiple fields talked about their hands-on experience.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the oil and gas extraction industry is 90 percent white, while the utility industry is 85 percent white.   White men currently dominate the solar and wind industry.  Adopting equitable hiring practices is the start, but ensuring all employees are included in decision making is fundamental to retaining those talented individuals.

Moderator:   Bill Kindred, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, National Renewable Energy Lab


  • (recruiting into the trades) Justin Peterson, VP Operations, McCarthy Building Companies
  • (how to measure inclusion in utilities) Baird McKevitt, Director—Inclusion and Diversity, Xcel Energy
  • (solar workforce) Taz Romine-Mann, Co-owner, Fleet and Facilities Supervisor, Namaste Solar

Click here to watch re-posted video and read speaker bios