The White House event at Morgan State brought two cabinet secretaries to the stage, Maryland’s own Tom Perez, Secretary of Labor and Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz. They spoke of the connection between good paying jobs and clean energy. There were also informative panels on workforce development and financing challenges for solar. I found the workforce development panel particularly inspiring. The idea of groups like Civic Works, among others, is to train men and women from underserved communities to qualify for good paying careers that don’t require a college degree. They act as an interface between the employers and the community, helping to bring more diversity to the workforce in solar and frankly, just give people a chance to earn a living. Baltimore City Community College was also represented, talking about the many courses and practical training they offer. I found the panel very inspiring because I want Neighborhood Sun to be the kind of company that creates community, not consumers. And part of a community is to have opportunities for people to gain experience, earn money, and build their resumes.
At the Johns Hopkins the "Baltimore Renewable Energy Forum" took place on Nov 15. Environment Maryland, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and Retrofit Baltimore worked collaboratively to host an event that covered a broad array of topics, including clean energy, electric vehicles, and green roofs. I was part of the panel and we discussed accessibility as well, but it was not the focus. I was pleased to see a large turnout of millennials who were all passionate about the need to immediately switch our energy system to non-polluting sources like solar and wind. These are the passionate advocates we need to make change happen.
Taken together, these events paint a picture of the vibrancy and great work happening in Baltimore around clean energy, from Morgan State to Johns Hopkins and all areas in between. Baltimore has the potential to grow even further as a clean energy leader, creating good jobs, community, and clean energy free of the health and environmental impacts of fossil fuels. We’re excited to do our part!