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Clean Energy Works enlists diverse work force to perform home energy retrofits

Clean Energy Works, the nonprofit that’s working to promote affordable, energy-efficient home improvements throughout Oregon, is pretty good at promoting women and people of color as well.

State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian awarded Clean Energy Works its Bureau of Labor and Industries Workforce Champion on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Avakian praised the company, noting that 55 percent of the construction work done for the program during the last three years has been by women and people of color. During that time, Clean Energy Works’ home retrofit projects have resulted in 340 new hires, including 28 veterans. Retrofit projects have taken place in 19 Oregon counties.

Avakian presented the award to Clean Energy Works CEO Derek Smith at the annual BOLI Employment Law Conference. “I appreciate the organization’s commitment to putting equity at the center of its operations,” Avakian said. “More women and people of color now have good jobs saving Oregonians energy as a result.” 

Smith said there is lots more work to do for the nonprofit. “With more than 600,000 homes in Oregon still in need of energy upgrades, there are many more opportunities to grow our economy and create good, local jobs," Smith said.

Steve Law can reached at 503-546-5139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..