The goal of the ABE Clean Energy Ambassadors project is to develop and pilot a systematic and replicable model for capacity building and training of the Adult Basic Education (ABE) workforce (including basic literacy, GED/secondary education and English for Speakers of Other Languages) on clean energy concepts and related career pathways.
To date, the ABE system has had very limited exposure to clean energy concepts and career pathways. Yet, adult education is a crucial component of the workforce development pipeline with largely untapped potential to motivate and prepare low-skilled, low-income adults to pursue training for clean energy-related jobs, while also building clean energy awareness in adults who, as consumers, tend to be outside of such education efforts.
Adult Basic Education (ABE) Partners
The ABE Clean Energy Ambassadors project invests in strengthening the on-ramp to clean energy occupations for MA ABE learners. Increasing the expertise of ABE teachers and counselors who work with ABE learners so that clean energy industries can be presented and investigated in the context of ABE instruction and counseling gives learners essential information on the job prospects and requirements, training, and career pathways. The value of this on-ramp can’t be underestimated: the shift that clean energy will create in our economy will require all citizens to know and understand these changes.
Eight ABE learning programs across the state have been selected to participate and each has identified specific teachers and counselors who will benefit from the yearlong project activities.
The employer partners in the ABE Clean Energy Ambassadors project represent several different sectors of the clean energy industry: weatherization/energy efficiency, green building, solar thermal, solar PV, and manufacturing. The ABE Clean Energy Ambassadors project responds to the need expressed by our employer partners to increase industry awareness and readiness of future employees and for future customers. These four employers have an inclusive understanding of the array of occupations within their industry and their ability to communicate that with teachers and counselors allows for engagement of a diverse set of adult learners.
Industry and Training Partners
The New England Clean Energy Council and Northeast Sustainable Energy Association are project partners that bring the industry context, the historical perspective and a sense of future job growth as well as information on clean energy training, and the skills, attitudes and qualifications successful training participants have. The training partners, MassGREEN and the Center for Eco Technology will provide information and perspective on clean energy training. In addition, this project has partnered with the Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board (FHREB), which offers a direct link to the workforce development system.
The ABE Clean Energy Ambassadors project will:
1.Implement a clean energy professional development model for ABE teachers and counselors that integrates three face-to-face training institutes, four webinars, coaching, and a virtual community of practice (VCoP).
2.Compile a Clean Energy Curriculum Guide that includes lessons and teaching strategies that integrate clean energy information into science, math, and English language instruction for adult learners.
3.Provide models and techniques specific to the clean energy industry and training in developing articulation agreements and partnerships.
4.Disseminate information on clean energy occupations and needed training and credentialing to ABE staff and learners.