We plan to hold Cohort Calls once every quarter or four times per year. MassCEC hosted the first Cohort Calls in April 2022. Administratively, it took a coordinated team effort to organize, schedule, and host these sessions, though ultimately the effort proved worthwhile, as the cohort calls were a great success! In each of these meetings, project teams were excited to connect with and learn from other teams. in addition to direct engagement, the Zoom chat was a productive space where awardees were able to network, share ideas, and provide additional resources to (and with) each other. For example, several teams expressed an interest in sharing marketing materials and resources, and as a result a “Marketing & Resources” Slack channel was created live during the session! MassCEC was also able to share resources and related program/grant opportunities. Through all this, we saw many budding collaborations and relationship building. In fact, several teams discovered they were focused on the same region or city/town and set up separate follow up calls with each other to connect further and feasibly enhance their projects. This is exactly what we hoped for with the cohort calls!
We hope, as we head towards our second cohort call coming up in late July/early August, that we will see more of these exciting collaborative moments as awardees (hopefully) continue to connect and learn from one another.
We here at MassCEC were also able to learn many helpful things from our awardees! Teams shared insights such as:
Hiring can take longer than expected.
The clean energy program and incentive landscapes are both generous and complex.
Having a place to share resources, such as outreach or marketing materials among teams, would be useful.
Teams value the ability to connect and learn.
As EmPower Mass continues, we will do our best to find methods to incorporate these insights into the support and resources our program is able to offer.
Truly, we were thrilled by how fruitful the Cohort Calls turned out to be and we look forward to the next set of calls in July and August! We can’t wait to see what awardees will teach each other (and us)! We hope that these calls are one tool in building a strong network of organizations forming relationships and sharing best practices to promote equity-focused clean energy adoption in Massachusetts.
What’s coming next? Look out for a series of blog posts to highlight the progress and experiences of specific awardees and their projects. In particular, in our next blog we plan to discuss the work and achievements of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Housing Nantucket (NHA).
Do you have thoughts on what else you’d like to see MassCEC do with the EmPower Mass Program? We encourage readers to reach out to our team with questions, suggestions, or to be added to our EmPower email list. You can email us at email@example.com.