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INETRVIEW: Sonia Clayton, Chairman, Global Energy Transition (GET) 

Sonia Clayton .jpg

What inspired you to establish GET? 


During Q4-2020 and as CEO of VIP-Global an IT and organizational change management firm specializing serving the oil and gas industry for over 20 years, I spearheaded pro-bono efforts to assist Houston's oil and gas professionals facing layoffs, receiving over 500 resumes within the first two weeks. By Q3 2021, the industry had slashed over 100,000 jobs due to factors including the COVID-19 pandemic and transition to alternative energies. With inadequate transition strategies and no government support for professionals the industry faced chaos exacerbated by industry 4.0 and impending mergers & acquisitions, resulting in over a million job losses in the O&G/C energy sector. 

 

Tell me more about GET?

 

At GET, our mission is to help businesses and individuals successfully transition into the global, carbon-neutral economy and other active sectors, by creating and designing strategies and transitioning solutions, to effectively enable and transform the workforce, businesses, and communities for the new energy economy. We also seek to bring to light the carbon-neutral economy value chain, which underpins several practices such as carbon capture, utilization & storage (CCUS) and energy decarbonization efforts associated with traditional oil and gas activities. 

We help those small businesses and developing entrepreneurs who were dislocated from their permanent full-time jobs by introducing them and networking them with large O&G operators and other industry leaders.

 

We help create partnerships for these new, small businesses and innovators, now serving in a variety of industries such as new combustion processes, expanded uses of hydrogen produced from hydrocarbon feedstocks, wind, solar, geo-thermal technologies, new carbon-based materials, and new uses of CO2 in industrial processes and power generation. 
 

We have spoken previously about the pillars of GET, can you explain what they are and why it is vital for them all to be present?

To advance the energy transition agenda, GET engages various stakeholders:

  • Industry Leaders: The share their renewable energy goals and vision and establish collaboration via industry associations and forums to set objectives, invest in innovation, and implement sustainable practices. This is also the ideal opportunity for them to demonstrate community endorsement and social responsibility.

  • Technologists: Develop innovative solutions for renewable energy; integrate new technologies such as AI and IOT, collaborate with industry and academia for research and technology transfer. Drive research at the crossroads of industry 4.0 and energy 2.0.

  • Higher Education Institutions: Also collaborate with Technology to conduct research, define new competence needed to be offered in upskilling or reskilling programs for other verticals’ transferability or cleaner energy programs, and facilitate workforce development through partnerships, new certifications, micro-credentials, apprenticeships, etc., with the help of industry and government entities.

  • Government: Shapes supportive policies and regulations, provide funding for research and clean energy projects, and collaborate with stakeholders.

  • Entrepreneurs: Drive innovation and small business job generation, in the renewable energy sector and other sectors; supported by GET’s small business incubator and venture capitalist.


By fostering collaboration among these stakeholders, GET actively participates and helps facilitate the adoption of renewable energy and sustainable energy goals.

How is GET supporting the zero & low carbon emissions Hydrogen project development within the Gulf Coast? 


GET supports low carbon emissions hydrogen project development in the Gulf Coast region by upskilling qualified jobseekers for the hydrogen labor market, including:

 

  • Talent Identification and Selection Programs: We specialize in identifying skilled individuals within our network and offer hydrogen technology education partnerships with various educational institutions.

  • Apprenticeship: An apprenticeship for a geologist transitioning to hydrogen production involves theoretical and practical training in hydrogen-related concepts, such as production methods and environmental considerations. Apprentices are hands-on experiences in identifying suitable geological formations for hydrogen projects and collaborating with industry professionals.

  • Networking: We leverage extensive professional networks to connect with potential candidates for hydrogen projects.

  • Transitioning Placement Strategies: We work closely with hiring managers and discuss placement strategies for hydrogen projects.

  • Diverse Talent Sourcing: We offer a diverse pool of candidates to promote inclusivity in hiring.

 

Whilst only 3 years old GET has made some phenomenal progress, what achievements are you most proud of and why?

 

We are most proud of GET’s dedicated leaders, our mission, values, and impact. Together we have achieved much, for example:

 

  • Designing the first TRUE, hands-on Just Transition strategy, implementing it and testing in ground zero, specifically designed for the USA and developed countries across the world.

  • Placing over 600 people in transition in different verticals to include Consulting, Higher Education, Engineering Construction, Manufacturing Finance and Insurance, Information Technology, Consumer Services & Retail, Government, Telecom and even the Medical Sector.

  • We are proud of our unique organizational structure, our committee chairs and leaders, endorsers, partners, donors, board members and volunteer, who move GET’s mission, and vision forward, every day.

  • We are proud of GET’s Servant Leaders, who donate over 250 monthly hours. Everybody at GET is a volunteer. Including our Executive Board, our Board of Directors, and Advisors.

  • Our education programs and partnerships with prestigious universities and colleges across USA.

  • GET’s Awards of Excellence -Motivating organizations to hire GET’s people in Transition.

  • Our website portal and resources that are provided to our jobseekers.

  • Being invited to participate in international forums and being able to provide advice to several countries and governments.

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