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Hawaii State Energy Office Hiring for Equity Program

by Thunda
Hawaii State Energy Office

HONOLULU—The Hawaii State Energy Office is seeking candidates to fill three new full-time AmeriCorps VISTA positions it created to help the office build its capacity to serve vulnerable and underrepresented communities. “A successful path to 100 percent clean, renewable energy and a carbon free economy requires green economic development innovation that creates and retains living wage jobs while enhancing environmental and social justice,” said Hawaii’s chief energy officer Scott Glenn.

To support this effort, the Energy Office is launching a new mission-driven VISTA program in partnership with the Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission to create job opportunities while building capacity to reach everyone that must be included to achieve 100 percent clean energy. “The VISTA program members will play a key role in helping HSEO build equity into its policies and programs to ensure project outcomes contribute to the quality of life for everyone in Hawaii” said Glenn.

“The Energy Office is looking for applicants with a passion for social justice and economic equity who are concerned about our climate crisis and want to be a part of the solution,” said deputy energy officer Kirsten Baumgart Turner. “This is a great opportunity to get hands-on experience and take part in the Energy Office’s mission to help build a resilient, clean energy, decarbonized economy in Hawaii.”

The three Energy Office VISTA openings are for:

  • A community engagement and communications specialist to help develop targeted outreach initiatives to better inform, educate and engage the public in energy project decision-making and increase access to energy conservation and clean energy resources with a particular focus on the needs of vulnerable and under-represented communities.
  • An energy affordability specialist to focus on lifting vulnerable and underserved communities out of poverty by lowering their energy costs, decreasing the potential negative impacts and improving the benefits of clean energy projects, and providing higher wage, long-term employment opportunities.
  • A transportation affordability specialist to help develop strategies to work with vulnerable, under-represented and ALICE community partners to develop cost-saving clean transportation projects and increase access to affordable, clean transportation options.

The VISTA members will join the Energy Office for a period of at least one year. Applications will be accepted through Oct. 28. For more information or to apply, go to

The three Energy Office AmeriCorps VISTA members will join the state’s six member VISTA Climate Ready Hawaii cohort coordinated by the Hawai‘i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission and includes the state’s Department of Health, and Office of Planning. The Hawai‘i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission’s Climate Ready Hawai`i project is the first coordinated state effort to identify and assess the impacts of climate change and related policies on vulnerable communities.

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