East Pittsburgh, PA
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April 11, 2024 1:57 am

Green energy could be the future. What’s being done to increase workforce diversity in Pittsburgh?

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Martin Rafanan, a retired Evangelical Lutheran Church minister, spent decades as an organizer of primarily Black low-wage workers in the St. Louis area. After moving to the Hill District in 2018, Rafanan’s attention remained focused on social justice. 

“During most of my work, I haven’t been paying as much attention to the environment as I think probably I should have,” Rafanan said. “So over the past couple years, been doing a little more to learn more, be educated and to kind of take small steps in the neighborhood.” 

These small steps include Rafanan and his wife shepherding an Audubon Certified Backyard Habitat, turning it into a sanctuary for birds, butterflies and other embattled creatures. The Rafanans also want to have solar panels installed on their house. But when Rafanan researched local installers, he realized a problem: It’s difficult to find a local installer of solar panels that is minority-owned or has diverse employees. 

You can read the rest of this story, written by Matt Petras, at the Pittsburgh Public Source here.