The clean energy and green building industries are growing rapidly.
And Baltazar De Anda Santana of the Latino Academy of Workforce Development in Madison, Wisconsin, wants to make sure people of color share in the benefits.
“I want to see Latinos, I want to see African Americans, doing solar installation,” he says. “I want to see them out there, making the money that is going to help them not just support their families, but for them to be able to have options, to have opportunities.”
So to equip people with the knowledge they need to break into the industry, his group helped lead a pilot program for minority contractors.
The 11 participants learned about ways to build or expand their businesses, such as getting into solar installation or home weatherization.
Industry leaders and city representatives shared insights about business development and bidding for municipal contracts.
And participants had the opportunity to network and exchange ideas.
“That’s one of the things that they appreciated the most — the fact that they could talk to other business owners, that they could learn from other business owners,” De Anda Santana says.
So the program helped local contractors lay foundations to participate in the clean energy economy.
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media