Stronger Together summit advertisement

On November 6th, we hosted "Stronger Together: Building an Energy Efficiency Workforce," a virtual summit sponsored by the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program and the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC). We explored how to work together to build a strong and diverse energy efficiency workforce in Illinois. Energy efficiency employers, job seekers, job trainers, service providers, and workforce coordinators were invited to attend.

Watch the video of the entire summit (minus breakout discussions) on the right, or scroll down to view videos, presentation slides, and bios of individual speakers.

Opening Remarks and Keynote

The energy efficiency workforce plays a critical role in combating global climate change and helping communities save energy and money. Despite its importance, the energy efficiency workforce in Illinois has experienced nearly 9% job loss due to the pandemic, while the majority of employers report that it is very difficult to find qualified job candidates. Many populations, such as women, minorities, and rural workers, are severely underrepresented in the energy efficiency workforce. In these uncertain times, how can we work together to grow the workforce in an equitable way?

Ameren Illinois Market Development Initiative
Kristol W. Simms, Director of Energy Efficiency at Ameren Illinois
Richard J. Mark, Chairman and President of Ameren Illinois
Jamira Burley, Activist & Head of Skills @ The Global Business Coalition for Education

Barriers and Solutions

SEDAC shared research findings addressing barriers and solutions to grow the energy efficiency workforce around 4 key topics.


View Presentation Slides

There is a great need for energy efficiency jobs, but too few people are aware of energy efficiency career paths. SEDAC's Patrick Sullivan describes barriers and ways to raise awareness.


View Presentation Slides

Many populations are underrepresented in the energy efficiency workforce. Dr. Robin Jarrett describes the barriers that underrepresented groups face and how we can overcome these barriers.

Skills & Training

View Presentation Slides

Are training programs meeting the needs of employers? SEDAC's Linda Larsen discusses the training needed to grow the energy efficiency workforce of the future, and how we can coordinate better.


View Presentation Slides

What are some solutions for growing and diversifying the energy efficiency workforce? SEDAC Executive Director Brian Deal shares a vision of how we can coordinate better to put these solutions into action.

Featured Organizations

The summit featured the following organizations for their work in growing and diversifying the workforce.

Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics (SEEL), LLC

Southtown Construction Training Center, B.O.N.E. LLC

YouthBuild, a program of the Housing Authority of Champaign County

Breakout Discussions

The summit offered opportunities for stakeholders to meet in small groups to discuss findings and share ideas for growing and diversifying the workforce. SEDAC's Cassie Carroll, who was the emcee for the summit, summarized the results of these breakout discussions. More in-depth summaries of discussions coming soon!

Special Thanks

The following individuals and organizations have contributed to this research project and summit development, in collaboration with SEDAC.

EJP logo

Paul Francisco, Indoor Climate Research and Training (ICRT)
Stacy Gloss, ICRT
Robin Jarrett, Professor Emerita, Human Development & Family Studies

Education Justice Project

Rebecca Ginsburg
Jobie Taylor
Joshua Payne

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