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Worker Institute Blog

Worker with a mask in a restaurant
The Worker Institute brings together researchers, educators and students with practitioners in labor, business and policymaking to address issues related to confronting systemic inequality and building a fair economy, robust democracy and just society. We will share opinion, analysis, research, data, insights and training from our faculty and staff.

Join us for the Virtual Climate Jobs Summit 2021

Collage of Workers in Clean Energy

September 21st, 2021

The Climate Jobs Summit on September 21, 2021, will bring together newly established state Climate Jobs coalitions, labor leaders, union climate activists, environmental and environmental justice advocates, clean-energy developers, policymakers, educators, scientists, and all who want to build the clean-energy economy of tomorrow with good union jobs. The Summit will feature speakers and panelists from around the country.

We will talk about the ways that climate change and inequality are inextricably linked, dig into the once-in-a-generation opportunity to create good family-sustaining jobs by developing the renewable energy sector, and engage in a holistic discussion about just transition for workers in fossil fuel industries and their communities.
At a time that calls for public investment on a scale not seen since the Great Depression, let’s invest in the clean energy economy of the future, assure that the new clean energy jobs hire union workers, take climate action at a scale science demands and address the crisis of extreme inequality.


  • Vincent Alvarez, President, New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, New York Climate Jobs Coalition
  • Marilyn Brown, Director, Georgia Tech, Climate Energy Policy Laboratory
  • Nikki Budzinski, President, Budzinski & Partners LLC
  • John Cartwright, President, Toronto/York Region Labour Council (retired)
  • Hae-Lin Choi, New York State Political Director, Communications Workers of America, District 1
  • Aziz Dehkan, Executive Director and Lead Organizer, Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs
  • Priscilla De La Cruz, Senior Director of Government Affairs at Audubon Society of Rhode Island, President of the Environment Council of Rhode Island
  • Pat Devaney, Secretary-Treasurer, Illinois AFL-CIO, Illinois Climate Jobs Coalition
  • Mike Fishman, President and Executive Director, Climate Jobs National Resource Center
  • Aliya Haq, Vice President, U.S. Policy and Advocacy, Breakthrough Energy
  • Eric Hines, Professor, Tufts University School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Gary LaBarbera, President, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and New York State Building and Construction Trades Council, New York Climate Jobs Coalition
  • Cynthia Phinney, President of the Maine AFL-CIO
  • John Podesta, Founder & Member of the Board of Directors for the Center for American Progress
  • Becky Pringle, President, National Education Association
  • Michael Sabatoni, Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer Rhode Island Laborers District Council, Rhode Island Climate Jobs Coalition
  • Matt Schlobohm, Executive Director of the Maine AFL-CIO
  • Melissa Shetler, Executive Director, Pathways to Apprenticeship
  • Chris Shelton, President, Communications Workers of America
  • Liz Shuler, Acting President, Secretary-Treasurer, AFL-CIO
  • Lara Skinner, Director, Labor Leading on Climate Initiative, Worker Institute at Cornell University ILR School
  • Lee Smith, Managing Member, American Solar Partners
  • Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers
  • James Williams, General Vice President At Large/Organizing, International Union of Painters & Allied Trades
  • and many more!
Collage of Workers in Clean Energy



September 21, 2021

9:30 AM - 4 PM


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