SPI 2017

Tales from the Roof: Staffing Horror Stories and One Weird Trick to Avoid Them

Tuesday, September 12
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Location: Installer Training: Booth 4387

Did you know that nearly half of installers don’t last 90 days on the job? Do you have staffing horror stories that people don’t believe when you tell them? Our people are the most critical component for success of our business, yet we all struggle with the challenges of finding and retaining great staff. Come share your experiences, both good and bad, with hiring and retaining employees, and come away with a single, powerful idea for how to reduce attrition and increase retention of quality, motivated employees so that your business can succeed.

Cheri Faso-Olf

Workforce Strategist
Tesla, Inc.

Chéri is an industry- and government-recognized expert in clean energy workforce development, capacity building, education, and training. She is leading workforce development efforts to identify, train and develop a highly-skilled workforce for Tesla, in the solar PV, automotive, and battery storage sectors. Her projects include coordinating community, academic, and government stakeholders in the massive effort to identify and train the staff of Tesla-SolarCity's 1 GW manufacturing plant in Buffalo, NY - the largest solar panel plant in the western hemisphere, and Tesla's Gigafactory in Nevada, which, when complete, will have the largest footprint of any building in the world, and employe 6,500 workers by 2020.

From 2009 until joining SolarCity in 2015, Chéri was in private practice, providing solar workforce and project consulting services to colleges, universities, and governments, including the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, New York State Energy Research & Development Authority, and US Department of Energy SunShot initiatives: Solar Ready Vets, Solar Instructor Training Network, and Solar Career Map. From 2005 through 2009, Chéri served as Director of Education & International Workforce Development for the American Council On Renewable Energy, where she developed and managed ACORE’s corporate, educational, and citizen-outreach programs, including the Higher Education Committee and green workforce programs, on an international level.

Chéri is founder and Executive Director (Emeritus) of the nonprofit, Solar Campus Initiative, a project of Earth Island Institute, as well as a Climate Leader, Trained by former Vice President Al Gore. She is deeply involved in solar development on Native American reservations. She serves as an Advisory Board member for the Masters in Renewable Energy degree program at Penn State University, and is a Director of the Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Investment Board. Chéri also serves on the Education Advisory Committee for SEIA's Solar Power International.


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Anna Bautista

Vice President, Construction and Workforce Development
GRID Alternatives

Anna Bautista is Vice President of Construction and Workforce Development operations and programs for GRID Alternatives, the nation’s largest nonprofit solar installer. In addition to driving standards of safety, quality, and efficency, she leads GRID’s two major workforce diversity initiatives: RISE, an initiative launched in 2015 aimed at increasing diversity in the solar industry and connecting an industry that needs good people with communities that need good jobs; and the National Women in Solar Initiative, launched in 2014 to bring more women into the solar industry and support their professional growth. Anna has over 12 years of experience in solar as a site supervisor, trainer and educator, project manager, designer and installer. She is proud to represent among the two percent of NABCEP certified PV professionals who are women but hopes to see that percentage grow to the double digits.


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Tales from the Roof: Staffing Horror Stories and One Weird Trick to Avoid Them

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