Press Conference: New Clean-Energy Jobs Program Announcement April 7, 2022 Mayor Andrew J. Ginther announced that the City of Columbus is allocating $1.5 million to IMPACT Community Action to implement Empowered! – a new clean-energy jobs program geared toward Columbus residents ages 18-24. The program will provide training and on-the-job experience for careers in the clean-energy sector and focus on recruiting participants from communities of color and women in Opportunity Neighborhoods.
Funding will support three cohorts of program participants over the next year, providing training to establish the skills and knowledge needed to be a competitive candidate for full-time employment within the clean-energy sector. Training will also highlight career exploration; digital literacy; diversity, equity and inclusion; and wraparound services.
Additionally, Empowered! participants will receive on-the-job experience as Energy Advocates, helping residents navigate and better understand energy efficiency and the range of energy programs available to them. They will also perform low-level energy audits and simple energy upgrades such as LED-bulb replacement. Participants will be paid $17 per hour as Energy Advocates and receive compensation for their training.
Upon completion of the program, Empowered! graduates will be placed in pre-apprenticeships or apprenticeships, or directly employed in fields such as weatherization, construction, utilities, solar installation and manufacturing.
Of the $1.5 million being allocated for Empowered!, $300,000 is from the city’s Clean Energy Columbus program and its Clean Energy Workforce Development Fund, which is funded annually by the city and AEP Energy as part of the energy aggregation’s supply agreement.
Empowered! advances both the Columbus Climate Action Plan and environmental justice by supporting those communities most impacted by climate change. To read more about the Climate Action Plan and Sustainable Columbus, visit www.columbus.gov/Sustainable