It’s rough out there.  We all know that job creation isn’t as vibrant as it would be if we had more consistent and sensible federal energy policies. But that doesn’t mean that New England clean energy companies aren’t hiring.  From Advanced Electron Beams to Ze-gen, clean energy employers are looking for talented people. Whether it’s solar or wind, efficiency or batteries, biofuels or insulation, you don’t have to look far to find “help wanted” signs in the shop windows.

Want proof?  It’s not hard to find.  On the morning of April 4th, I quickly visited the websites of a small group of member companies of the New England Clean Energy Council (www.cleanenergycouncil.org) to get a hiring snapshot of the industry.

I skated over some of the really big national employers in the Council membership, like Philips and Belcan Corporation.  Job seekers shouldn’t give them a pass, though! Both companies are in a big time hiring mode. Philips has 680 job openings all over the country, and Belcan is looking to hire more than 1100 people in the US.

In the end, I picked out a small group of representative clean energy employers., and started plowing through the “help wanted” postings. Those 24 companies alone had 300 current job openings advertised right now.

Keep in mind that these companies represent the tiniest fraction of the industry total. There are more than 1,500 clean energy related companies in Massachusetts alone, and many more in Connecticut, Rhode Island and the rest of New England.

Who’s looking for the most people? Well, it will come as no surprise to learn that companies with a national reach have the greatest number of offerings, and that those jobs are distributed throughout the country. Massachusetts based companies like Ameresco (50+ openings), A123 Systems (46 openings), Conservation Services Group (35), Boston-Power (26), and EnerNOC (24) topped the list of employers seeking new workers among those we looked at.

Far more typical of the industry were the many companies that are seeking just a few people, like Next Step Living and American Superconductor (14 each), Borrego Solar (12), Nuvera (10), Digital Lumens (8), Alteris (7), Advanced Electron Beams and Beaumont Solar (6 each).  Harvest Power, Konarka, GMZ, and Nexamp all had ads for five new people.

Finally, there are many that need just a handful of new employees. Liquid Piston, for example, was advertising four current job openings.  Aircuity, Aspen Aerogels, Metabolix, Metal Oxygen Separation Technologies, Qteros and Ze-gen were all seeking three new workers.

Small potatoes, you think? Perhaps, but a regional industry with hundreds of companies hiring, the numbers add up to a lot of new jobs now in a labor market that’s shedding jobs in many other sectors.

Just what are these companies looking for, you ask? Glad to answer.

The industry is hiring lots of engineers, of course, from a wide variety of different engineering specialties, including electrical, energy, industrial process, software, and more.  Follow-up conversations confirmed that top rank engineers for these positions are hard to find, even at a time when unemployment is high.  We’ll have more about the industry’s acute need for talented engineers in future blog posts.

Also high on the “help wanted” list are IT professionals, project managers, finance and accounting staff, energy auditors, renewable energy system installment and maintenance people, and a variety of sales, marketing and administrative pros.

So, take heart, job seekers. There may not be a huge wave of clean energy jobs cresting, but there is a tide that is steadily rising.  We’ll track and comment upon all things workforce related through this blog, and also bring you reports from the industry’s HR directors, recruiters and trainers.

Whether you’re an employer or employee; a job seeker or an interviewer; a professor or a student; we’d love to hear your stories.   You can post your thoughts to the blog directly, or get in touch with me using the contact information below

Kevin Doyle

Principal, Green Economy

Co-Chair, New England Clean Energy Council Workforce Development Group

kevinldoyle@gmail.com

617-500-9996

 

How to find the employers:

If you’d like to check out job offerings at the companies mentioned above, you’ll find a full list of links at: http://www.cleanenergycouncil.org/our_members.   Happy hunting.

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Kevin Doyle

Kevin is Principal of Green Economy and Co-Chair of the Clean Energy Council's Workforce Development Group.

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