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May 24, 2022 | Tom Ballard

SEEED one of 18 awardees in DOE’s “Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize” announcement

Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development (SEEED) is one of 18 organizations across the nation sharing a pot of $3.6 million through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) “Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize.” It is a first-of-its-kind competition designed to support entrepreneurship and innovation in communities historically underserved in federal climate and energy technology funding. The selected projects are helping develop the next wave of diverse clean energy business owners, executives and workforce that are creating bottom-up solutions for sustainable development.

As described in this DOE news release, Knoxville-based SEEED aims to design a community-driven just energy ecosystem, encourage distribution of clean energy benefits to the community and develop clean energy jobs training for disadvantaged youth. The non-profit is located in the Morningside Community Center and seeks to serve young adults and largely marginalized community members in the greater Knoxville area by providing various pathways out of poverty through four main programs:

  • “Career Readiness Program,” an eight-week training program offered three days each week to provide financial literacy skills, resume writing, professional business attire education, job aptitude tests, workplace behavior skills, and professional networking;
  • “Community Engagement Program,” an effort involving deep canvassing, surveying, and interviewing to better understand the needs of underserved communities in East Knoxville and connect the people in these areas with resources they need to thrive;
  • “Green Construction Program” that pays young adults to learn the sustainable construction skills to build solar homes with livable wages that enable them to thrive; and
  • “Edible Forest Program” that offers: (1) a four-week bootcamp paying young adults while providing them skills in sustainable agriculture and growing; and (2) a safe space for the community to gather called the Greenhouse Cafe.

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