Solar Austin

Solar Austin Equitable Clean Energy Jobs Program Manager

GENERAL PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

While Austin has successfully grown a thriving local solar and renewables industry, people of color and women are underrepresented in the renewable energy field. There is a lack of solar specific pathways in educational and training programs, and a lack of knowledge and resources in clean energy industries to enable hiring a more diverse workforce. Solar Austin and Huston-Tillotson University (HT) aim to overcome the hurdles by piloting an internship matching program to place women and students of color at solar and other clean energy companies. Our goal is to help facilitate pathways for under-represented students into clean energy jobs, and develop a set of best practices to provide a resource for clean energy companies wishing to improve their diverse and inclusive recruitment and hiring processes.

Solar Austin and HT were awarded grant funds via the City of Austin’s “Equitable Access to Green Jobs” program, and are seeking to hire a Program Manager whose management includes company recruitment, securing company commitments to the program guidelines, student recruitment, pitch/recruitment event coordination, intern placement, connecting students with job training and scholarship resources, and follow-up data collection and analysis. This part-time position is grant funded for 9 months, starting immediately, with the possibility to extend with successful fundraising. This position could be full-time or nearly full time, if paired with other duties described in the Solar Austin Communications & Event Coordinator job description

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Work with Huston-Tillotson University staff and faculty to develop internship program structure from best practices
  • Connect with and enrolling solar and energy efficiency companies to host interns
  • Recruit college and high school students for clean energy internships
  • Plan and execute intern recruiting event
  • Mentor interns and companies hosting interns – provide candid feedback to program participants, both corporate and student
  • Assist with fundraising to fully implement program
  • Report back to the Solar Austin board of directors and Huston-Tillotson regularly on program progress and developments
  • Measure, track, and analyze data from program participants (companies and interns)
  • Write final report

CANDIDATE REQUIREMENTS:

  • Cultural competency and experience working with communities of color and underserved populations. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills, including the ability to convey information to different audiences, such as professionals and students.
  • Exhibit strategic diversity and inclusion skills and strong track record of successfully implementing programs and initiatives
  • Communicate and influence a broad range of employees and leadership regularly as a subject matter expert for diversity and inclusion
  • Experience working with key business stakeholders to develop external partnerships
  • Experience doing basic data collection and analysis
  • Proven ability to build relationships and influence key partners, ability to get results through collaboration

HELPFUL, BUT NOT REQUIRED

  • Bring experience in developing best practices to create internship program aligned to  business and academic needs
  • Experience driving culture change and collaborating closely with leadership to create and implement D&I solutions that align with, and reflect, our mission, culture, and overall business strategy
  • Grant writing or fundraising experience 

APPLY:

To apply, email info@solaraustin.org with your resume, cover letter and desired salary range.

Solar Austin is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people of color, and LGBTQ candidates are encouraged to apply. 

Solar Austin Communications & Event Coordinator

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF POSITION:
Solar Austin’s mission is to accelerate the transition to clean renewable energy in Central Texas to build a healthy community and a strong local economy. Solar Austin works with utilities (mostly Austin Energy) and decision makers to improve and expand solar programs and policies and works to educate the public through monthly happy hours with speakers, emails, social media and other events.

Solar Austin is a mostly volunteer run organization, but we need part time help to get our work done and achieve our mission. The Solar Austin Communications and Event Coordinator will work under the supervision of the President or another member of the Board. The Communication and Event Coordinator will take on many of the routine duties required to host monthly happy hour events as well as other administrative and research duties, as assigned.

This position can be paired with the Solar Austin Clean Energy Jobs Program Manager position for someone looking for closer to full-time work.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Attend monthly Solar Austin board meetings on the 1st Wednesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Coordinate and Attend monthly happy hours on the 4th Tuesday of each month from 5 to 8pm (including setup). Coordination includes:
    • Speaker Coordination: working with Board Members to identify happy hour speakers, contacting and confirming speakers at least 6 weeks in advance, putting together short biographies, photos and a brief descriptions of speaker and topic.
    • Event Marketing (at least 1 month in advance): creating an Eventbrite invitation for each event, posting happy hour information to the Solar Austin website, sending an email blast to the Solar Austin supporter list, creating event pages on Facebook and MeetUp, and effectively promoting all events on Facebook, Twitter, MeetUp and any other useful platforms and calendars.
    • Event Management: Bring all needed materials to and from event, get AV set up and staff the sign-in table. Show people where to sign in; collect donations; be welcoming and answer questions (or direct questions to a board member).
  • Manage sign-in sheets and petitions by adding contacts to Solar Austin database.
  • Communications: Write regular monthly blog posts on Solar Austin website. Share posts via the Solar Austin Facebook and Twitter accounts. Post daily updates to the Solar Austin Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Assist with solar, utility, and other research as needed.
  • Other administrative duties as assigned.

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Education: High school diploma or GED required; some college work preferred
  • Knowledge: How to utilize social media to engage the public; some knowledge about solar energy and/or policy
  • Work Experience: Some previous professional experience required; experience putting on events and using social media professionally strongly desired
  • Skills: Excellent written and oral communication skills; well organized; good computer skills (experience with WordPress required; basic HTML beneficial, but not required); good social media skills (particularly Facebook and Twitter); graphic design and video skills valued, but not required
  • Capabilities: Self-motivated; organized; ability to work independently, desire to learn about and advance solar energy policies and programs

APPLY
To apply, email info@solaraustin.org with your resume, cover letter, writing sample and social media samples.

Solar Austin is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people of color, and LGBTQ candidates are encouraged to apply.

Solar Austin Happy Hour: Electrified Mass Transit with Capital Metro

Sustainability and climate action require much more than just solar, so we’re branching out to spend time on another very important topic this month – public transportation. Transportation accounts for about a third of local greenhouse gas emissions and will be the largest source once Austin Energy is able to retire its portion of the coal-burning Fayette power plant.

So how do we make a dent in all that pollution? And how can we reclaim some of our time (and sanity) lost sitting in Austin’s ever worsening traffic? High capacity, rapid, convenient public transportation offers a solution. This has been an elusive goal for Austin over the years, but Cap Metro, with the support of the City of Austin, is making another go at it in the form of Project Connect. The vision for Project Connect is an interconnected system of public transportation options that connect people to jobs, education, healthcare and the places they love. This system will include fully dedicated transitways, enhanced MetroRail service, MetroRapid corridors, and more Park and Ride facilities. We’ll hear all about Project Connect from Joe Clemens, Deputy Project Manager at Capital Metro.

But that’s not all! Cap Metro is also working to electrify its fleet of buses. This is great news for everyone concerned about local air pollution, as well as climate change, because emissions from diesel vehicles, including buses is particularly harmful. Electric bus technology is now able to serve many of Cap Metro’s bus routes and will soon be able to serve the whole system. Rob Borowski, CapMetro’s Sustainability Officer, will present on the electrification initiative.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM 
Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto Blvd)
RSVP Here

Joe Clemens is Deputy Project Manager at Capital Metro. He takes the bus or train everyday between his apartment in Crestview and Capital Metro’s downtown office. “I regularly use the 801 and Red Line. I also use transit into and out of downtown during the weekend.” You may have seen Joe hanging out at one of his favorite music live music venues — Stubbs, Mohawk, Parish, Scoot Inn or Emo’s. Some of his other local faves include Austin’s walkable downtown, Town Lake, Greenbelt, food trucks and craft beer. Joe serves as Capital Metro’s Deputy Project Manager for Project Connect, the region’s high-capacity transit plan. He’s also a representative on the City of Austin’s Housing+Transit+Jobs Action Team, which is focused on equitable development along MetroRapid and MetroRail. 

Prior to Capital Metro, Joe worked in the private sector for 15 years and completed several projects in the alternative analysis/environmental impact study stages of the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) New Starts process. He’s also managed four bus rapid transit alternative analysis studies in El Paso that received FTA Small Starts funding.  Joe, who grew up in Philadelphia, recalls taking SEPTA buses between his home and high school, starting his freshman year. He also lived in Chicago for three years, where he didn’t own a car. “The elevated ‘El’ train between Chicago’s CBD loop and my Northside apartment was a convenient, congestion-proof way to get to work. Great views too!”

Rob Borowski is Cap Metro’s Sustainability Officer. Rob has been immersed in environmental issues for more than 20 years as coordinator for the Environmental Science Institute, assistant director for University of Texas’ Center for Sustainable Development, coordinator of the Clean Texas program at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and as the first manager for environmental affairs at HEB. He holds Master of Science degrees in community and regional planning and environmental management.

Key Career Accomplishments:
• Coordinated university research center initiatives to implement multidisciplinary watershed research efforts, and integrated facilities-based energy conservation efforts.
• Coordinated efforts to implement a multi-year, strategic planning effort for the Galveston Bay Estuary involving local, regional, state and federal agencies and stakeholders.
• Developed Clean Texas, the first voluntary pollution prevention and sustainability program for cities, federal facilities, large and small businesses, universities and other organizations of its kind, to be co-coordinated and recognized by the state of Texas and the EPA.
• Managed environmental affairs and implemented the first environmental strategic plan for Texas’ largest private employer, H-E-B Grocery.

Solar Austin Happy Hour! Superpower: One Man’s Quest to Transform American Energy

For our September happy hour, acclaimed author and journalist Russel Gold will share the story of an audacious attempt to build the largest renewable energy project in the United States right here in Texas. Any transition from a North American power grid that uses mostly fossil fuels to one that is predominantly clean requires a massive building spree—billions of dollars’ worth.

Enter Michael Skelly an infrastructure builder who began working on wind energy in 2000, when many considered the industry a joke. Eight years later, Skelly helped create the second largest wind power company in the United States—which was sold for $2 billion. Wind energy was no longer funny; it was well on its way to generating a substantial percentage of the electricity in the United States.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM 
Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto Boulevard Austin, TX 78701)
RSVP Here

About Russell Gold: 

As a senior energy reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Russell Gold has reported on energy regularly since 2002. His coverage of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was honored with a Gerald Loeb Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The San Francisco Chronicle called The Boom, Gold’s first book, “the best all-around book yet on fracking.” His follow-up effort, Superpower, tells the story of an urgent quest to transform America’s energy future. Gold lives in Austin, Texas, and BookPeople carries both of his books locally.

RSVP here.

Getting There:
Please consider taking the bus to the happy hour. There are many buses within easy walking distance of Scholz Garten. Plan your trip here. If you drive, State Parking Garages can be found next to, behind, and across from Scholz Garten. San Jacinto Blvd., 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and Trinity have parking garage entrances.

Support the Cause:
Although our happy hours are free and open to all, we hope you’ll consider donating to Solar Austin.  Help us keep solar energy growing in the Austin area.  You can purchase a ticket to the happy hour or use the donate button here on our website to avoid fees.

 

Solar Austin Community Workshop on Expanding Access to Solar

We’re doing something a bit different this month. Instead of our regular happy hour, Solar Austin is hosting a community workshop to gather input on the topic of expanding access to solar.

In September, a team that will include Austin Energy staff, a couple members of the Solar Austin board and other solar policy experts will participate in a workshop hosted by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). This team of seven will focus on identifying ways to expand access to solar in Austin. We know that many renters and lower-income residents, particularly from communities of color, haven’t been able to take advantage of the direct benefits of solar energy.

The goal of the Solar Austin workshop will be to gather community input to help guide the team at the RMI workshop in September. We want to help develop solutions that address the needs, concerns and aspirations of the community.

Huston–Tillotson University has graciously offered to host this event and Solar Austin will provide food and drink.

WHAT: Solar Austin Community Workshop on Expanding Access to Solar
WHEN: Tues., Aug. 27, 5:30 dinner and networking, 6:00 presentation and discussion groups
WHERE: Dickey-Lawless Science Building at Huston–Tillotson University (#1 on the map)

RSVP is appreciated, so we know how much food to buy.

In addition to a short presentation to share the basics about solar and some sample programs, we’ll have facilitated group discussions to try to determine:

  • level of awareness about solar among lower-income residents
  • the main barriers that keep lower-income residents from accessing solar
  • any barriers specific to people of color
  • aspects of solar energy that excite people most
  • the most important features of a new solar program

Anyone who wants to contribute to this work is welcome, but we especially hope to get more people of color, renters and lower-income residents involved in this conversation because those are the groups that have been underserved by the current solar programs.

Ensuring equity in access to solar energy and other climate solutions is an important aspect of climate justice. Solar Austin is committed to making the benefits of solar energy accessible to everyone in the Austin community.

We hope you’ll join us and bring a friend, family member or neighbor who falls into one of the underserved customer groups.


Getting there: Huston–Tillotson University can be accessed by several bus lines. If you drive, there is free street parking on Chalmers Ave and Chicon St, and in the Huston-Tillotson parking lot off Chalmers St between 8th St and 9½ St.