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Solar Powered

Jan 23, 2013

Erin Noble believes that our future lies in using sunlight as a clean, viable, and cost-effective energy alternative. That’s why she and a friend co-founded Renew Missouri, a nonprofit advocacy group working to improve energy efficiency and renewable energy policies in Missouri.

Erin says that renewable energy alternatives like solar power will not only help the environment and conserve resources but also create jobs and economic development. But taking on the cause meant Erin needed to be an informed advocate. “[I had to become] well-versed in the actual nuts and bolts of solar installation,” she explains. Erin had to understand the engineering and electrical work behind solar panels, as well as the permit procedures for the solar industry.

She learned most of this when she worked as director of community relations for StraightUp Solar in St. Louis, a company that plans and installs solar paneling and modules. It was there that Erin found out how important it is to ask a lot of questions and not be intimidated, even in a male-dominated business.

Erin also discovered that not only could she help the environment and conserve resources, she could help create jobs. Part of Erin’s work with Renew Missouri is to provide laid-off workers—like those in ventilation, construction, and roofing businesses—access to training in the solar industry.

To fulfill career goals, Erin encourages girls to be willing to work hard, which often means being the first one in the office and the last to leave. She adds that this extra effort will allow girls to really master their jobs. “Opportunities continue to evolve if you work hard and have faith,” she says. “Do work that you’re passionate about, be kind, and everything falls into place.”

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To learn more about Erin, click here. To read more about It’s Your Business—Run It!, click here, and to see other entrepreneurs in our video series, click here.