Jun 9, 2023
Meet Hailey Champagne of Maine
Champagne recently started a new position with BPA as part of our agreement within Maine’s Clean Energy Partnership.
By: Macie Melendez
Hailey Champagne has lived in Maine for most of their life. They’ve worked hard to get two degrees from University of Maine Orono—one in political science and one in sociology, with minors in legal studies, women and gender studies, and criminal justice. In their gap year before attending law school, they wanted to help people in their home state, so they got involved with AmeriCorps VISTA.
AmeriCorps VISTA is a program where individuals can help support organizations to make sustainable change in areas that affect poverty. This includes education, public health, climate, access to benefits, and more. This opportunity prepares individuals for a future of service in the public, private, or nonprofit sector.
And AmeriCorps is what led Champagne to the Building Performance Association (BPA). “I felt like AmeriCorps was the best way to spend that time serving something bigger than myself,” they said. Champagne recently started a new position with BPA as part of our agreement within Maine’s Clean Energy Partnership.
In late 2022, Maine’s governor announced $5.4 million in climate investments, including $2.5 million in clean energy workforce development grants awarded through the Clean Energy Partnership. BPA is one of nine organizations that were awarded funding, with projects anticipated to engage with over 1,600 individuals; attracting new workers to the clean energy and energy efficiency workforce, providing career training and upskilling opportunities to existing workers, increasing diversity and representation in the clean energy workforce, and facilitating new and expanded clean energy apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, and internship models to facilitate entry into rewarding and high-paying jobs.
Over the course of the next year, Champagne will be working with Maine contractors to help weatherize homes in underserved communities as well as network with clean energy partners. That networking will come in the form of job fairs and visiting community colleges.
But Champagne doesn’t just walk the walk—they just took the Building Performance Institute (BPI) Building Science Principles (BSP) course and gained their BSP Certification. They’ll be using that knowledge to help support this project.
“I always love to learn, so it was fun,” they said. “I am happy to have the knowledge of what makes a house intrinsically good based on science, so maybe I can share that with others!”
Right now, Champagne’s primary focus is finding wraparound services for people needing work and help in Maine; services like the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project can help new Mainers obtain workers’ permits and legal representation to do so.
They are also working on organizing community events, such as the upcoming career fairs through the state and home shows where they can spread the word about BPA and the plethora of resources we’re able to give.
“I’m really just excited to be here and learn something new,” said Champagne. “My favorite part about this year ahead is that I’ll get to meet so many new people with experience in this field. I hope to collaborate with them in the future.”