Pierce also worked with members of his church to form CTP-POWER LLC, a solar jobs training program. He said his company helps create living and prevailing wage solar jobs, especially for those that are chronically unemployed, which can include people with gang affiliation, drug issues or prison records.
Advocates continue to push for equitable energy bill |
He has learned from his experience in the clean energy industry that many BIPOC communities face barriers in the industry for a number of reasons.
“When it comes to a simple SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities, threats) analysis, it shows that these companies that do green energy, solar, etc. are companies that are headed by typically young, highly trained people with technical backgrounds that have access to capital. Those two pieces typically don’t exist in any great fashion in BIPOC communities,” Pierce said.
The main focus of the equity provisions that are being considered include creating programs to promote economic opportunity and job growth for communities that have historically been left behind when it comes to the skilled labor industry, Pierce said.
The topic of prevailing wages continues to be a sticking point between labor unions and equity advocates as an agreement on how this will be addressed in the omnibus energy bill has yet to be met.
“The truth of the matter is that some trade unions have stood in the way of Black and brown workers and contractors sharing and the chance to earn jobs, to build businesses and to create generational wealth by controlling access to apprenticeships and other job training programs, especially in the energy and construction industries,” Buckner said.