Programs & Initiatives

EC Cleveland launched the Cleveland/Cuyahoga County E-Contractor Academy on February 1, 2017, to prepare small minority-, woman- and veteran-owned businesses to compete for and perform energy efficiency retrofits in public, commercial and residential buildings; renewable energy projects; and green infrastructure projects. The Cleveland/Cuyahoga academy location is modeled on the original program that has served Los Angeles and LA County since 2013.

Thanks to financial support from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation and in-kind contributions from the county, the seven-week program of weekly three-hour seminars is free of charge to qualifying local contractors. The session will conclude with a graduation ceremony on March 15.

The academy offers seven expert-led seminars – meeting once a week for three hours – on topics that include procurement and bid requirements; accessing capital, bonding and insurance; green building basics and bidding on energy efficiency, renewable energy and green infrastructure projects; doing business as an energy efficiency and renewable energy contractor, including Project Labor Agreements, local hire requirements and the benefits of becoming a building trades signatory; using LCP Tracker software for labor compliance reporting; and worker and site safety. 


EC Cleveland launched RENEW Retrofits Municipal at the City Club of Cleveland on June 29, 2014, to provide financing, technical and project support for energy conservation measures in municipal, university, school, and hospital buildings. RENEW Cleveland-Cuyahoga is an exemplary public-private partnership among Emerald Cities Cleveland, Cuyahoga County Government, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, and Public Finance & Energy Advisors. (See ECC news story on RENEW launch.)


EC Cleveland’s RENEW work led, the following spring, to Cuyahoga County’s establishment of a Clean Energy Financing Hub that is now a central point of contact for financing of affordable clean energy retrofits and renewable power supplies – projects that will lower energy costs, reduce pollution and grow the local economy while benefitting local businesses, institutions, governments and homeowners.

Via the hub, the county’s Department of Sustainability is leveraging $225,000 in county resources to make up to $120 million in private-sector money available to finance energy efficiency building retrofits and renewable energy technologies such as rooftop solar. At present, construction projects worth up to $15 million are in the financing pipeline.


EC Cleveland is bringing ECC’s signature focus on equity and inclusion for small and minority businesses in the context of sustainability to LEEDCo’s (Lake Erie Energy Development Company) Icebreaker, the Great Lakes’ first offshore wind energy project.

LEEDCo, a regional nonprofit, is spearheading the construction and installation of a 20.7 megawatt demonstration project in Lake Erie, with construction to begin in spring 2018. The project is aimed at making Ohio a cornerstone of the American offshore wind industry while re-energizing the economy of Northeast Ohio.

To facilitate the sourcing of materials and parts close to home and the use of local businesses as LEEDCo supply chain vendors, EC Cleveland will provide technical assistance on economic inclusion strategies; outreach, training and support for minority, women and veteran contractors; and monitoring, reporting and compliance on labor and supplier/contractor diversity.



SeMia Bray, MBA: Local Director

E | T 202-400-2337

About SeMia

Over the past 20 years, SeMia has held senior management positions in the nonprofit, private and manufacturing sectors, where she helped advance a successful transition to a sustainable, resilient and equitable economy driven by safe, renewable energy. Prior to joining ECC, SeMia was senior director of emerging programs and institutional advancement at the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, where she supported fundraising and implementation of new programs, including the Cuyahoga Small Business Development Center. She also helped develop the Minority Business Development Assistance Center serving Northeast Ohio and the pilot of Career Beginnings Environmental, an interactive youth development program that introduces young people to sustainable careers. For the 10 years prior, SeMia was in the manufacturing and private sectors, where she played a role in planning, implementing and/or monitoring of community development, workforce development and commercial architecture and design projects. In the private sector, Bray was directly responsible for the development, delivery and monitoring of a workforce development curriculum for a $4M project serving clients with barriers to employment. She also was a key contributor to numerous commercial architectural and design projects implemented in the Greater Cleveland area. SeMia currently serves as a member of the Alliance for Family Hope Board, the Cuyahoga Solar Co-Op Selection Committee and the Cleveland State University Center for the Urban Environment Advisory Board. She holds a master’s degree in organizational systems design from the Baldwin Wallace University (formerly Baldwin Wallace College) and a bachelor’s degree with a dual major in business administration and interior design from Ursuline College. She is also a graduate of Neighborhood Leadership Cleveland and the Northern Ohio Executive Leadership Institute.  In 2016, SeMia was selected as a candidate for a national leadership program, designed to further develop leaders across the country.

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