Training the Clean Energy Workforce with IREC’s Dr. Cynthia Finley

Training the Clean Energy Workforce with IREC's Dr. Cynthia Finley

We can’t meet our climate goals without building, as fast as we can, a robust, diverse pipeline of well-trained workers. Unfortunately, here in the US, there is no real workforce education and training SYSTEM, per se. Short-term programs, apprenticeships, and non-credit credentials are delivered by a patchwork of community-based organizations, for-profit training providers, industry associations, unions, and community and technical colleges, And the models and funding streams differ region to region and state by state. One reason we lack the clean energy workers we need just might be this fragmented, piecemeal workforce system which is confusing and difficult to navigate.

One organization that is trying to address this is the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, or IREC. IREC wants to make it easy for anyone who wants to to move into a clean energy job. Here to talk about how is Dr. Cynthia Finley, IREC’s Vice President of Workforce Programs. We discuss the incredible demand for clean energy jobs, the urgent need to train skilled workers to fill these jobs, the essential role colleges play in the US workforce pipeline, and how IREC is leading the way in building a clean energy workforce here in the US.

Guest Bio
Dr. Cynthia Finley serves as Vice President of IREC’s Workforce program, creating strategic initiatives helping to expand workforce development in clean energy. Cynthia comes to IREC from the Virginia Community College System as the Director of Workforce Development Programs and Partnerships. Her background includes experience in higher education, workforce development, adult education, fiscal management, programs for justice-impacted individuals, and research in building social capital for underserved communities. Cynthia is passionate about developing sustainable and equitable career opportunities and pathways for underrepresented populations in the clean energy workforce.

Cynthia holds a PhD in Higher Education Leadership from Old Dominion University, a Master’s Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Virginia Tech. She lives near Richmond, Virginia with her husband, two children, and two dogs.

Show Notes
Interstate Renewable Energy Council website
Green Jobs Connect website
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