Climate Workforce Coalition

Building Vermont’s Climate Workforce to Achieve Vermont’s GHG Emission Reduction Goals


Problem: Vermont’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets necessitate scaling up the climate workforce, at a time when finding qualified workers is already very challenging.

Vision: Vermont will have enough workers to reach its 2030 Climate Action Plan commitments. This workforce will be diverse in race, gender, age, and geography, and will be well trained, supported, and compensated with clear career pathways. Employers will have the tools they need to scale up their businesses and support their employees.

Coalition: Since 2021, Energy Action Network (EAN) has helped convene a
Climate Workforce Coalition focused on scaling up the number of
workers being recruited and retained in these fields.


To achieve Vermont’s required greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, we need to train thousands of Vermonters with the skills to electrify our transportation sector, install clean energy solutions, weatherize homes, build net zero commercial buildings, and sustainably manage our working lands, forests and waterways. Right now we are not sufficiently building and sustaining this climate workforce pipeline. While there have been past efforts to address workforce shortages, we need a laser focus now on equitably and inclusively growing the climate workforce, specifically if we are to comply with state laws.

Whether it be demographics, changing preferences, or fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, a lack of workers mustn’t slow progress to achieve Vermont’s required greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. There are approximately 18,900 Vermonters who currently participate in occupations that are part of Vermont’s climate workforce – far short of the number we need to keep pace as policy is put in place to lead the transition forward.

The Energy Action Network (EAN) Climate Workforce Coalition was created to help scale up the number of workers participating in these fields. Here’s how we’re organizing our efforts to make progress and grow Vermont’s climate workforce:

Employee-Centered Working Group

  • Supporting the Weatherization Training Center business planning process organized by Efficiency Vermont and the VT Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) and funded by a Department of Energy grant. This work is geared toward aligning training opportunities and services for weatherization and other Climate Careers.
  • Conducting outreach to students and college and career navigators at events like the CTE conference, Women Can Do, and the Youth Environmental Summit, and online.  Development of materials for students and college and career navigators, and a new Pathways to Climate Careers webpage on MyFutureVT.
  • Completed: The Climate Workforce Team collaborated with six community organizations (CVOEO, ReSOURCE, Rights & Democracy, St. Johnsbury Community Hub, Vermont Energy Education Program and Vermont Works for Women) to learn about how people in different demographics might view job opportunities in the climate workforce, and how they get information about jobs.  The findings from these focus groups were compiled into the 2023 Climate Workforce: Community Feedback & Findings Report.  

Employer-Centered Working Group

  • Coordinating with Efficiency Vermont to start a Talent Pipeline Management project in 2024 with a focus on weatherization and heating electrification workforce.
  • Supporting the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) in developing a business training program for companies that want to do more in renewables and efficiency and need support on business fundamentals through a cohort learning program and one-to-one coaching.
  • Completed:  The Working Group hosted a webinar on Low and No Cost Strategies for retaining workers in February 2023
  • Completed:  Coordinated conversations about weatherization workforce barriers and solutions.

Communications, Analysis, and Funding

The Network Action Team is bringing together what they have heard from both employers and potential employees, to address funding and communications needs to support workforce growth in these sectors. 

  • Completed: Analysis of Vermont’s current climate workforce to understand the scale of this sector, as well as the barriers, pipelines, and pathways to climate careers.

Climate Workforce Coalition Partners

Advance Vermont – Association of General Contractors – Building Performance Association – Capstone Community Action – City of Burlington Community and Economic Development Office – Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity – Efficiency Vermont – McClure Foundation – Neighborworks of Western VT – Office of Senator Sanders – Regional Planning Commissions –  Renewable Energy Vermont – ReSOURCE – Rights and Democracy – SEON – Serve, Earn, and Learn – St Johnsbury Community Hub – Unions – University of Vermont – VT Adult Basic Education – VT Afterschool – VT Business Roundtable’s Talent Pipeline Management  – Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility – VT Agency of Natural Resources – VT Career and Technical Education Centers – VT Department of Corrections  – VT Department of Economic Development – VT Department of Labor  – VT Department of Public Service – VT Office of Economic Opportunity – VT Office of Historic Preservation – VEEP – VGS – VNRC – VT State Representatives and Senators – VSJF – Vermont Technical College – Vermont State University – VT Works for Women – VT Youth Conservation Corps

If you are interested in learning more or getting involved in this project, please contact Cara Robechek

Note: Network Action Team projects were selected by the Network membership through a competitive process at the EAN annual summit.  Although Network members may support specific policy actions as part of their work on these Action Teams, EAN staff serve in the role of neutral convener and refrain from advocating for specific policies.

Video of this Pitch at the October 2021 EAN Summit