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STEPs4GROWTH (S4G) trains North Carolinians for careers in clean energy.

Information by Category


STEPs4GROWTH (S4G) is a comprehensive clean energy workforce development project funded by a grant from the US Department of Commerce. It is led by NC A&T State University with support from NCBCE and other partners. STEPs4GROWTH works with employers to train students and adults to fill well-paying jobs in energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean vehicles, and grid & resiliency.


If you are interested in connecting with STEPs4GROWTH and unsure about whom to reach out to, email Caroline Sullivan ( or Joanne Sullivan (

“Not only can you get a great job, but now with this new pathway, you can be part of the solution with climate change.”

- Mike Realon Career Development Coordinator for Palisades High School

Clean Energy NC Talent Hub
(Employers and Job Seekers)

The Clean Energy NC Talent Hub is a new outlet for both job seekers and employers/associations to connect regarding clean energy career opportunities in our state.

Job seekers can search for open job opportunities, upload their resume, set up job alerts, learn more about career paths, and research companies in our state at no cost.

Employers are welcome to post jobs (NO COST), search for resumes, and connect with candidates. If you’re an employer short on time, submit your job posting(s) HERE, and we'll post it for you within 48 hours.

Any Questions?

S4G is a sectoral partnership with 4 focus areas

A poster shows the four backbone sectors of NC A&T State University’s Steps 4 Growth. To the left of that text, there is the Steps 4 Growth logo which is a pair of footprints. The left print has a yellow leaf in it and the right print has a white power charger in it. The first section shows a windmill against a grey-blue background and is labeled “Renewable Energy.” The second section shows a car with a lightning bolt over it against a green background and is labeled “Clean Vehicles.” The third section shows a globe with a lightning bolt against a light blue background and is labeled “Energy Efficiency.” The fourth section shows an electric plug against a yellow background and is labeled “Grid and Storage.” The bottom of the poster is labeled NCBCE logo which includes the words “Invest. Inspire. Innovate.”

Dr. Balakrishna “Balu” Gokaraju and Dr. Greg Monty of NC A&T are the S4G grant’s principal investigators.

Renewable Energy

Coordinator: Brandi Bragg (

Regional Training Partners: Martin Community College (hub), Roanoke-Chowan Community College, Carteret Community College, and Craven Community College

Student Support Specialists: Natasha Roberson ( and Nathan Stout (

The Clean Tech Center at North Carolina State University is the backbone leader for renewable energy.

Clean Vehicles

Coordinator: Rhonda High (

Regional Training Partners: Nash Community College, Edgecombe Community College, and Wilson Community College

Student Support Specialists: Stephanie Credle (, Paige Webb Ashman (, and Melissa Vandemark (

Appalachian State University is the backbone leader for clean vehicles.

Energy Efficiency

Coordinator: Ezrenee A Major (

Advanced Energy is the backbone leader for energy efficiency.

Grid & Storage

Coordinator: Michael “Mike” Realon (

UNCC-EPIC is the backbone leader for grid modernization and cybersecurity.

The Appalachian Energy Center is the STEPs4GROWTH lead for battery and energy storage. They are the clearinghouse, integrator, and facilitator for energy storage technology applications and information within and across each S4G clean energy sector.

Contact: Kate Bashford (

Resources and Information for S4G participants

The video below showcases the summer 2022 solar youth apprenticeship program. NCBCE, NC A&T University, Halifax County Schools, Halifax Community College, and the NC Energy Office developed the pilot which ran in 2021 and 2022. In August of 2022, the US Department of Commerce awarded NC A&T a grant to expand this work to additional North Carolina counties in a variety of clean energy sectors through the STEPs4GROWTH initiative. You can also watch the summer 2021 solar youth apprenticeship program video here.

“Apprentices are individuals who receive on-the-job learning from a master-level supervisor while typically receiving job-related education from institutions such as community colleges or trade organizations.”

Career Spotlight Videos

Check out these videos of people who work in the energy sector, engineering, or construction. The Navigator online platform has various resources to help students learn about jobs, including career spotlight videos.

Careers in Clean Energy

Check out these webpages from to learn about various occupations related to clean energy, including the salary and job openings.

“With the apprenticeship it’s just the perfect blend of on-the-job training and also classroom instruction. So we get theoretical also with the practical and that really helps you kind of keep your lessons in your head because everything I learned in the class, I can directly apply to what I was doing at work.”

- Chad Robinson, Training Specialist at Siemens Energy

“For young people, it's not only the ability to transform the planet but it’s the ability to have a real impact on what is going to be the outcome… We're just starting to move in that direction and there's a lot more questions than answers. And we need people, young people to come in and say, Hey, what is the answer? Let's figure this out together.”

- Clifton Van, CEO of Hyde Park Partners Charlotte, NC

Resources and Information for Industry Partners and Employers

If your company is interested in partnering with STEPs4GROWTH to build your workforce, email Caroline Sullivan ( and Joanne Sullivan (


The Navigator is a tool provided at no cost to employers and educators in North Carolina, designed to connect classroom learning to career pathways. Through this platform employers post work-based learning engagement and information opportunities like career profiles, guest speakers, internships, and pre-apprenticeships. Educators can search for, request, and track their engagement through the platform. The leadership team of STEPs4GROWTH would love for companies who do work in the clean energy sector to post resources about jobs at their companies and internship programs on the Navigator. Students do not know about careers unless people tell them. Contact Brianna Green (, if you have questions about the Navigator or are interested in NCBCE filming a career spotlight at your organization.

“That's really what we're involved in, is trying to get young people excited about what we do and show them the opportunities that they have that maybe their teacher or guidance counselor didn't know about that we could bring in and say, ‘Hey these are opportunities for you too, to impact yourself and impact others and impact the life and the community that you live in’.”

- Clifton Van, CEO of Hyde Park Partners Charlotte, NC

Resources on Pre-Apprenticeships and Apprenticeships for Employers

Wanda Ramos-McPherson ( is the ApprenticeshipNC contact for STEPs4GROWTH. Email her if you have questions about developing an apprenticeship program for your company.

“Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job training with classroom instruction to prepare workers for highly-skilled careers. Workers benefit from apprenticeships by receiving a skills-based education that prepares them for good-paying jobs. Apprenticeship programs help employers recruit, build, and retain a highly-skilled workforce.”

“Some people are just better working with their hands and traditional testing isn't quite for them. And so that's where the apprenticeship programs are good for that because it is a lot more hands-on stuff and all the job training.”

- Chad Robinson, Training Specialist at Siemens Energy

LiNC-IT: the North Carolina Autism Employment Initiative

The DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility) strategy for STEPs4GROWTH includes LiNC-IT. LiNC-IT (Linking North Carolina with Innovative Talent) was launched in 2018 and is the first statewide workforce program to support autistic talent. It is an employment program for individuals with autism who are in college or have graduated from college. We want to help make clean energy internships and jobs accessible to autistic individuals. The current unemployment rate for individuals with autism is 86% despite the fact that many of these individuals have the skills and education employers need. LiNC-IT leverages vocational rehabilitation funding from the NC Department of Health and Human Services with high quality service providers who are experts in supporting autistic employees and their managers.

Employers can learn more about LiNC-IT here and potential participants can learn more about LiNC-IT here. You can also reach out to or Emma Friesen ( if you have questions or would like to learn more about LiNC-IT. Staff from LiNC-IT can also do presentations to industry partners about the program and supporting employees who are on the autism spectrum.

Currently employers have the opportunity to participate in a virtual training through UNC-TEACCH about how to better manage autistic employees. This training could also help people become better managers to all employees. Becoming more welcoming to interns and employees on the autism spectrum is a part of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility strategy of STEPs4GROWTH. See the flyer below for more information. (Currently the virtual training is in the beta phrase and free; eventually, it will cost to access the training.)

A woman in a yellow outfit is shown at the front of a room presenting on a neurodiversity employment program. Two people are shown at a table listening to her. One is typing on a computer.

Kenan Fellows

Groups of adults in business dress are shown talking at tables in small groups.

STEPs4GROWTH is partnering with the Kenan Fellows Program at North Carolina State University through a grant provided by the North Carolina State Energy Office. Eight educators from across North Carolina will work with the STEPs4GROWTH leadership and employer partners to develop curriculum and experiences for K-12 students.

Lesson Plans

Community Partners

Community partners are organizations located in North Carolina who already serve people who may be looking for employment or training. Community partners help recruit youth or adults to participate in the STEPs4GROWTH talent pool through connections that they already have. For companies who are interested in hiring through STEPs4GROWTH, see the industry partners section of the webpage.