Advocates in Vermont hope a new clean energy jobs board and resume bank can help open doors and diversify a sometimes clubby, male-dominated sector.
Renewable Energy Vermont’s clean energy resume bank, launched last month, lets employers post job listings and review resumes uploaded by job seekers. The goal is to help companies fill positions as they rebound from the pandemic, and also share opportunities with underrepresented groups, particularly women.
Demand for workers in areas such as energy efficiency contracting, solar panel installation and electric vehicle development was growing before the pandemic, and those jobs began inching back toward pre-COVID levels last year after dropping in the first months of the pandemic. On top of that, states like Vermont are making serious investments in these sectors, meaning demand for workers will likely increase.
In addition to helping companies and workers rebound from pandemic disruptions, the jobs site aims to “encourage folks who might not have thought of this type of work before to think about joining the climate economy,” said Olivia Campbell Andersen, executive director of Renewable Energy Vermont.
“We also saw it as a tool to help break down barriers and improve diversity in the clean energy sector,” she added. Companies often hire for new positions from within rather than seeking outside candidates, which makes it tougher for them to diversify, Campbell Andersen said. In addition to women, the resume bank could be a resource for Vermont’s large immigrant population.
Nationally, employer surveys show the energy workforce is more diverse than the U.S. workforce as a whole, but women are greatly underrepresented, filling less than a third of positions in solar, wind, efficiency, and other sectors.
Renewable Energy Vermont is working with its members and other partners to promote the jobs site in hopes of making sure companies see a diverse array of candidates.
“It’s great because not all women