Green Workforce Director
Solar 1
• On the one hand: contractors prioritize construction background over a college degree.
• On the other hand: A professional with a marketing degree that obtains green building experience becomes highly employable if they subsequently move back to the marketing and sales of renewable building products and services.
• In green building, it is crucial to understand the policy differences of individual communities. This can often be determined by going to the organizations that provide incentives to green building contractors. In New York, the primary incentive provider is the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
Green Workforce Director Michael Johnson-Chase heads up the Workforce Training Program for Solar One, a seven year affiliate of the Community Environmental Center. Solar One partner's with workforce training partners to provide classes including building performance, solar-thermal training, and electrical retrofitting for commercial businesses. In addition to Solar One's training programs, the organization serves as an educational model for energy efficiency, producing most of its own energy through solar power. Outreach partners include many green building contractors, government agencies like NYSERDA, and program officials with the New York City Mayor's office, giving Solar One a unique perspective on the green economy in New York. Michael recommends sending resumes to approved energy efficiency contractors and cultivating relationships with them. Although it is sometimes necessary to start out as a volunteer when no prior construction background exists, Michael says aspiring green-collar workers can subsequently find job opportunities in building performance analysis, retrofitting contracts, and other areas of the green building industry.
Director Of Sustainability
City University Of New York
• The City University of New York (CUNY) through its centers, initiatives and 23 colleges, sponsors several energy conferences each year such as Sustainable CUNY's NYC Solar Summit. Later this month through the Center for Sustainable Energy, CUNY will sponsor the Alternative Vehicle Technology Conference and expo. Conferences such as these are excellent networking venues.
• The City University of New York's new commercialization program for cleantech, CUNY SustainableWorks,is building a Commercialization Center that will also include opportunities for students to gain experience in the development, prototyping, testing, and showcasing of new technologies with some of the top companies in the country.
• CUNY offers training in sustainability related fields such as green building, geothermal, solar thermal, solar electric, alternative vehicle technology, and energy services technology.
A million solar roofs. This stunning figure represents New York City's potential to be the top urban solar market in the country. Through its leadership of the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar America City Partnership for NYC, Sustainable CUNY is mapping out a way to this realization. In partnership with the mayor's office, Sustainable CUNY has created the most advanced solar map in the world. Made available online, the map offers detailed modeling of every building in the city and the potential for solar development there, as well as existing solar development. "The NYC Solar Map is a key tool to educate business, the financial sector, and the general public about the financial and environmentally benefits of solar," said Tria Case, University Director of Sustainability and the lead for the solar partnership. "Getting the public interested will be essential to moving forward." One of the keys to the U.S. DOE's success with the Solar America City program in NYC was placing leadership at Sustainable CUNY where the program could benefit from stable leadership that wouldn't suffer turnover during election years. As the largest urban university in the country, CUNY has provided the infrastructure and the leadership to keep the city's solar agenda on track. "Solar power production has grown six fold," Case said, "Further; in 2007 there were only 5 solar installation companies in New York City. Now there are 21- streamlining the process is growing green jobs." Sustainable CUNY has recently kicked off its CUNY SustainableWorks Commercialization Program, which provides a pathway into the NYC marketplace, the largest in the country, for new cleantech. Start-ups provide a huge boost to net-gain jobs in the economy, and Case says that the CUNY SustainableWorks program capabilities make it ideal for bringing products to market that need to be tested within the existing urban infrastructure. "For the public to adopt a new technology, they need a seamless transition from the existing technology to a clean technology. Being tested within existing infrastructure is key. The new CUNY SustainableWorks Commercialization Center will be the place for that process," Case said. Sustainable CUNY ultimately seeks to improve the NYC energy market through its sustainable energy programs and initiatives. New York's many legacy buildings have infrastructure codes that need to be integrated into efforts to increase sustainable energy technology adoption, which Case noted as a key to making sustainable energy technologies affordable and competitive. "It's so important to streamlining the path to jobs," she added.
General Manager And COO
Solar Energy Systems
• What to specialize in: Employees at companies like Solar Energy Systems have backgrounds in engineering, planning and public policy.
• Solar Industry job seekers in the New York area can network through professional associations like the New York Solar Energy Industry Association (NYSEIA).
"We have been busy in New York, and business in general has been steady," said Solar Energy Systems General Manager and COO, Christopher Moustakis. With offices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Colorado, Solar Energy Systems has been a major player in the New York solar market.

In January, the company announced the completion of New York City's largest private solar installation for regional kitchen and bath fittings company Davis and Warshow.

Solar Energy Systems, in partnership with Ronald Evitts Architect, also designed and installed the solar awning at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the institution which is responsible for many of the initiatives and incentives that are driving green industry growth in the state.

With New York holding the potential to be the top solar market in the country, expect continued success and growth for solar companies like Solar Energy Systems.
Business Manager
Solar Energy International
• Take classes at Solar Energy International. Workshops are offered in solar, thermal, green building, and even hydro technologies. Classes are offered in twelve locations around the US.
• Roofers can improve their skills by taking classes in solar energy installation.
• Solar energy installation and commercial size energy efficiency projects are the hottest areas of green technology.
Solar Energy International has been providing education in solar and other renewable energy technologies for 20 years. They have become one of the premiere institutions for accredited renewable energy workshops and offer classes in a number of locations.

Business manager Sandy Pickard highlighted the important work this non-profit does through their educational mission. Solar Energy International has expanded to include workshops in solar electric, solar thermal, micro-hydro, and wind energy. Classes are also offered online.
VP Sales And Marketing
Native Energy
• Look at social responsibility positions in large companies. Many companies are concerned about our energy future and their public image. Corporate responsibility positions will continue to be an area of continued job growth.
• Ceres (ceres.org) is a good place to look for companies interested in sustainability. BSR (The Business of a Better World) is an extensive network of sustainable companies and a good resource for job seekers.
• Check out schools with green and sustainability programs. The University of Vermont, Middlebury College, and St. Michael's College have excellent environmental programs.
Native Energy is a developer and seller of carbon credits. Carbon credits allow for the funding of renewable energy projects and reduce the amount of energy required from fossil fuels. When a company buys carbon offsets they are funding a project such as a wind farm or a methane digester and thus offsetting the effect of their own pollution. In the last 10 years, Native Energy clients have helped build a remarkable 48 projects including wind, biogas, and solar.
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