Statewide coalition, convened by PGE, receives $3 million from U.S. Department of Labor to develop Oregon’s clean energy workforce

The Oregon Clean Energy Workforce Coalition seeks to reduce barriers to entry to the clean energy economy with programs targeting opportunity youth and adults in custody

Dec. 18, 2023

Portland General Electric (PGE), on behalf of the Oregon Clean Energy Workforce Coalition, was selected this fall to receive a nearly $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to support the development of a skilled, diverse and robust clean energy workforce.

The Oregon Clean Energy Workforce Coalition (OCEWC), which PGE launched in 2022, is comprised of stakeholders from around the state working together to build equitable and inclusive career pathways to meet the dynamic needs of the energy sector. Coalition members include representatives from state, Tribal, and local governments, labor unions, workforce development boards, education and training providers, employers, and community-based organizations.

OCEWC will utilize this Critical Sectors Job Quality Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to scale and expand a pre-apprenticeship program at Oregon correctional facilities, engage youth in energy career learning opportunities, and collaborate with community-based organizations to improve access to clean energy jobs for career seekers throughout Oregon.

“PGE knows that creating a clean, reliable, and equitable energy future for Oregon requires investments in the people to help us build it,” said Anne Mersereau, PGE Vice President of Human Resources, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. “We’re proud to work with our coalition partners to build a more inclusive workforce that will meet the needs of employers today and in the future.”

According to a 2023 E2 study PGE, the clean energy sector added jobs 53% faster than the rest of the U.S. economy. Despite this rapid growth, as Oregon works to achieve its ambitious emissions-reduction targets, many more workers from a variety of backgrounds are needed.

OCEWC programming funded by the U.S. DOL grant will focus on two historically marginalized populations that face particular barriers to workforce participation: adults in custody and young adults disengaged from school and work, often called “opportunity youth.” Through an expansion of the Union Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Training Oregon program, adults in custody will have the opportunity to participate in a 12-week construction trades skill-building course run by local unions – Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1, Cement Masons Local 555, and Ironworkers Local 29. Upon release, graduates will have direct entry or preferential placement at an apprenticeship program, leading to quality jobs in high-demand fields. Engagement with opportunity youth will focus on exposure to the range of clean energy jobs available within Oregon. A new interactive website will guide youth and other jobseekers through potential pathways to clean energy careers.

While the industry’s most immediate needs include workers in the construction and electrical trades, Oregon also requires contractors to help residents weatherize their homes, electricians to build new electric vehicle charging infrastructure, engineers, creative professionals, data scientists, and more.

“There is truly a place for everyone to help build Oregon’s clean energy future,” said Mersereau. “Together with the OCEWC and this generous grant from the federal government, we can create new pathways to good paying jobs in the energy sector while simultaneously helping our state on the path to reduced emissions.”

In addition to implementing programs funded by this grant, the coalition will continue to identify opportunities to create new pathways to clean energy jobs for Oregonians of all genders, backgrounds, talents, and interests.

Oregon Clean Energy Workforce coalition members:


  • Avangrid Renewables

  • Eugene Water and Electric Board

  • NextEra

  • Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition

  • Oregon Municipal Electric Utilities Association

  • Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association

  • Community Renewable Energy Association

  • Oregon Solar and Storage Industries Association

  • Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative

  • Pacific Power, Portland General Electric

  • Renewable Northwest

  • Umatilla Cooperative

  • Vestas


  • Bonneville Environmental Foundation

  • ChargerHelp!

  • Clackamas Community College

  • Columbia Gorge Community College

  • Lane Community College

  • Leaders Become Legends

  • Mt. Hood Community College

  • Oregon Training Institute

  • SkillsUSA

  • Treasure Valley Community College


  • ATU Local 57

  • Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council

  • IBEW Local 125

  • IBEW Local 48

  • Ironworkers Local 29

  • Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council

  • Oregon & Southern Idaho District Council of Laborers

  • Western States Carpenters


  • Blue Green Alliance

  • Climate Solutions

  • Constructing Hope

  • Earth Advantage

  • Energy Trust of Oregon

  • EnerCity Collaborative


Clackamas Workforce Partnership

East Cascades Works

Lane Workforce Partnership

Oregon Workforce Talent Development Board

Prosper Portland

Southwestern Oregon Workforce Investment Board

Worksystems Inc.


  • Association of Oregon Counties

  • Bonneville Power Administration

  • Oregon Department of Energy

  • Oregon Department of Education

  • Oregon Department of Transportation

  • Oregon Housing and Community Services

  • Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission

  • Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund

  • Prosper Portland


  • Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs

About Portland General Electric Company
Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is a fully integrated energy company that generates, transmits and distributes electricity to over 900,000 customers in 51 cities across the state of Oregon. For more than 130 years, Portland General Electric (PGE) has powered the advancement of society, delivering safe, affordable, reliable and increasingly clean energy. To deliver on its strategy and meet state targets, PGE and its approximately 3,000 employees committed to partnering with stakeholders to achieve at least an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from power served to customers by 2030 and 100% reduction by 2040. PGE customers set the standard for prioritizing clean energy with the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the country. Additionally, for the fifth year in a row, PGE was recognized by the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index which highlights companies committed to creating a more equal and inclusive workplace. As a reflection of the company's commitment to the community it serves, in 2022, PGE employees, retirees and the PGE Foundation donated nearly $5.5 million and volunteered more than 18,000 hours with more than 400 nonprofits across Oregon. For more information visit

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