In May 2023, our Resolve DEI council announced the Resolve and DEI In Action Roadshow, an 18-city DEI awareness and community service campaign. The Roadshow included 12 tour stops with one final stop that hosted a virtual session to ensure all SOLV Energy employees were included in the DEI message. Each stop of the Roadshow consisted of two parts: the Resolve workshop segment and the DEI In Action service and cultural awareness segment.
ShaLonda Dwight, SOLV Energy's Director of Talent Acquisition & Diversity, shared that "Building a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization is fundamental to who we are and aspire to be. The RESOLVE DEI Council created the RESOLVE and DEI In Action Roadshow as a way to connect with employees to provide education, support and resources that help us flourish. The Roadshow connected over 500 employees across 11 locations and donated a total of $30k to10 non-profit organizations that serve people from marginalized communities from 7 demographic backgrounds. Leading the Roadshow directly equipped team members with greater DEI awareness and access to resources that promote a culture of inclusion. I'm proud of what we have accomplished so far and excited for the future as we continue working to foster inclusive workplaces where all of our employees feel a sense of belonging!"
The Resolve workshop segment took place at one of our local job site locations. The interactive workshops were hosted by senior SOLV Energy leaders, members of our Resolve council, and an expert DEI facilitator. Local SOLV Energy team members had the opportunity to share about their personal experiences in a controlled and safe environment.
The DEI In Action segment partnered with a local non-profit organization that serves individuals from marginalized communities. These community service and cultural awareness activities joined SOLV Energy leaders, members of our Resolve council, and our SOLV Energy team to support the local community is areas of focus such as: women, Latinx, Black, Asian, LGBTQIA+, veterans, and people with disabilities. Resolve council members shared their experiences during each stop of the Roadshow, check out their highlights and takeaways below.
SOLV Energy External Communications Coordinator, Hilary Sigler: The opportunity to welcome our Veterans at Honor Flight Columbus was a humbling experience just before reflecting on Memorial Day. Honor Flight Columbus is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring America’s veterans from WWII through the Vietnam War with a trip to Washington, DC, to visit their service and war memorials. These trips are free of charge to any qualified veteran (men and women, age 65 and over, who served at least one day of active duty). Honor Flight Columbus strives to help veterans share their stories with future generations and celebrates their service to the United States with a proper homecoming that many of them never received. When our team stepped into the Columbus Airport, there was a flood of red, white, and blue as far as the eye could see! We joined the Patriotic crowd and honored our veterans with a warm welcome as they returned to Ohio.
On May 24th, the Resolve Roadshow joined the Highland Solar team in Sardinia, Ohio, to continue our mission to raise DEI awareness and share ways to increase our cultural competence within our organization. The DEI Council kicked off the workshop by discussing the council's structure and promoting the initiatives we have been focusing on during the inaugural year of the Resolve DEI Council. We then introduced Dr. Salwa, who led the DEI training and provided prompts and scenarios for the team to consider as they broke into small discussion groups. A sense of camaraderie and teamwork filled the room when they had the opportunity to engage in open discussions. You could tell the group works closely together and felt comfortable with one another to share in an open space. Once the workshop ended, the camaraderie continued as the team gathered for lunch. It was great to see the impact of this Roadshow in real-time. I speak for myself and the participating council members that attended Roadshow Stop 5 when I say we enjoyed meeting with the Highland team and were grateful for their openness to our DEI message.
SOLV Energy Project Engineer, Andrea Salas: We attended the South Bend Civic Theatre to witness August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”. Written in 1982 and set in 1927 in Chicago, this play takes place in a recording studio where blues singer Ma Rainey’s band has gathered for a recording session and tensions start to grow within the band. The situation becomes tenser as she argues for control with her white producer as Wilson explores the economic exploitation of Black artists and cultural conflicts of the time. Experiencing this play provoked various emotions in all of us. One word that stands out to me is astonishment, as I was not expecting the events that took place and they made me reflect long after the play was over. If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to see this play or watch the movie on Netflix!
On May 25th, the Resolve DEI Roadshow made a stop at Mammoth North Solar in Monterey, Indiana. This site was given its unique name due to a huge mammoth skeleton found on the north side of the project! They also have a fittingly huge 6-wide trailer adorned for a homey feeling. The team made us feel welcomed as we kick-started the workshop. Everyone seemed attentive and curious in the beginning as they slowly opened their minds to have challenging but valuable conversations. We discussed questions like Who are you? What is the difference between Fitting-in and Belonging? The team associated the topics with their everyday life and shared their experiences. It was great to see how this workshop enabled them to pause and discover how DEI plays an intrinsic role in how they do what they do. Making it conscious gives them the power to impact other people’s lives and their own for the better.
Crawfish and Onion River
SOLV Energy Senior Talent Acquisition Partner, Linda Drews: On Thursday, June 1st, the Resolve Roadshow stopped at the Crawfish site in Jefferson, WI. This site is located in rural Wisconsin near farmland and the Crawfish River. Like many others, this site is not located near any major cities. It is about one hour from Madison, Wisconsin's Capital, and one hour away from Milwaukee. They experience four seasons of weather; winter is one of the harshest for the team. There were approximately 40 employees from the Crawfish site who were able to attend the meeting. As with all of our Roadshow stops, a senior leadership team member is present to help share the message and information about fostering an inclusive workplace. At this stop, the team was delighted to have CEO George Hershman join. The workshop was interactive. Job site employees, the members of the Resolve council, and the senior leaders shared personal information about their identities. I enjoy this activity because it allows me to connect and learn about someone else at SOLV Energy. It also allows people who work together daily to get to know a co-worker more personally. It was eye-opening to hear how little some people see their families. It reminds us that many employees make great sacrifices to get the job done. The local leader Brandon Badillo made a heartfelt speech about how inclusive and close their team is. He also did a great job rallying the team to help support the DEI in Action event for Milwaukee Pride Fest by letting the team know that he would be attending and encouraging them to attend. Since we had the privilege of having George Hershman attend, he was able to share information about his career development over the years, as well as a personal lesson that he has carried with him over the years- “be the first to turn the lights on and the last to turn the lights off” when he spoke of this it resonated with me that an individual can learn a lot by following this simple rule. Thanks, George, for sharing your story and a little of your personal life to help give everyone the perspective that we each have personal lives outside of work.
On Saturday, June 3rd, Members from the Resolve council and over 30 team members from Crawfish and Onion River could enjoy an afternoon of fun at the Milwaukee Pride Fest. This was an amazing afternoon! The SOLV Energy booth was located near the waters of Lake Michigan and had a view of the main stage. Pride Fest Milwaukee is Wisconsin’s largest LGBTQ+ festival since 1987. More than 50,000 attendees were out and about to support the LGBTQ+ community. Pride Fest Milwaukee is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that serves the LGBTQ+ community in Milwaukee. There were live performances at the festival on several stages, games, activities, food, and drinks. Attendees were able to enjoy the beautiful weather and be in a safe environment to be themselves. The SOLV Energy team passed out some rainbow bandanas with the SOLV logo and other pride swag. When people stopped by the SOLV Energy booth, they learned about employment opportunities and a little bit more about SOLV Energy as a whole. It was great to see so many of the SOLV Employees able to attend the event and show support for the LGBTQ+ community. I enjoyed spending time with my co-workers and connecting more with them. Some of the employees who participated in the event are openly gay or have family members or friends who are openly gay, and this event gave them a chance to be an ally and show their support. One of the most beautiful things about this event was seeing parents who were there with their kids and how the parents were showing their kids that they support their kids and that it is okay to be gay.
SOLV Energy Assistant Project Manager, Devon Mackey: The Resolve workshop was held at Eiffel in Paris, TX. The field team present was very responsive & engaged in the workshop. Each was attentive and participated in all group breakout sessions. Some topics we discussed were identifying who each worker is as a person and the different types of people each work with—recognizing team members' moral changes, identifying them, and applying action. Finally, we discussed the difference between equity and equality.
SOLV Energy HV Project Engineer, Daron Harris: On Saturday, June 17th, The Resolve council attended the MLK Juneteenth 4K Walk & Festival hosted by the Dallas MLK Center. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center’s social services program provides financial assistance to more than 29,000 families annually in the form of food, utility, & rental assistance through programs administered under the City of Dallas. The event included a 4K walk, benefitting community center programs and activities, and a free community festival. The festival consisted of live entertainment, vendors, and free activities for the entire community. The Resolve council staffed the SOLV table, where they played games and gave prizes to attendees. All while promoting open positions within SOLV Energy!