Kate Gold, the director of community engagement for Solar Landscape, has been named the 2021 Top Solar Changemaker by a leading publication for her impact in workforce development in New Jersey.
Gold, who oversees the company’s job training and renewable energy education initiatives, has helped the Asbury Park-based Solar Landscape provided solar installation career training to more than 150 New Jersey residents.
She also was instrumental in establishing Solar Landscape’s Green Ambassador Program for New Jersey high school and vocational-technical school students, which enrolled more than 200 students and will award $20,000 in first-year college scholarships.
The honor was awarded by Solar Power World during is virtual gala earlier this week. There were five individual awards presented among more than 400 companies that were ranked.
Gold said she is thrilled to be part of a greater group in the state that is advocated for green energy.
“New Jersey’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program is delivering residents of historically marginalized communities with cleaner air, lower utility costs and job creation,” she said. “We are thrilled with the impact we are having in local communities and look forward to even more progress in the future.”
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Community Solar Energy Pilot Program has enabled Gold and Todd Menadier to begin training a workforce to support New Jersey’s clean energy economy statewide.
Gold collaborated with the New Jersey Council of County Colleges and its Energy Pathway Collaborative to address the educational needs of the growing clean energy workforce. In addition, Solar Landscape continues to provide in-person career development and green energy education sessions to New Jersey high schools.
The company said her leadership in workforce development also positions Solar Landscape to do even more to train New Jerseyans in the clean energy sector — both for its own recruiting and the industry overall. The company is working with Parsippany-based roofing manufacturing company GAF to integrate commercial solar curriculum into its popular Roofing Academy and in-person trainings.
Solar Landscape officials said their community engagement and workforce development strategies were inspired by the New Jersey Community Solar Energy Pilot Program, established by Gov. Phil Murphy through Executive Order 28 in 2018.
CEO Shaun Keegan said Gold has played a key role.
“Kate’s innovation and hard work are helping address a critical need in New Jersey for trained solar installers,” he said. “The Solar Landscape team is excited to celebrate Kate’s achievement and proud to be recognized as New Jersey’s leading commercial solar developer in the Solar Power World Top Solar Contractors list.”