Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Efficiency Vermont’s Contractor Spotlight – Focus on Staffing Challenges

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To see the article as it appeared in print, please go to EFF VT Contractors Spotlight: Integrated Solar Applications Corp.

Integrated Solar Applications Corp., Brattleboro, VT

Interview with Katrina Wilson, V.P. of Operations and Sales

G.E.T. Staff

G.E.T.: Staffing has been a challenge for many contractors recently. How have you managed to keep a consistent workforce?

Katrina Wilson: Integrated Solar Applications (ISA) is a tight team. We offer competitive wages and other benefits. The benefits we offer include: a 3% match to the 401K plan even if the employee does not contribute; coverage of a portion of an employee’s chosen health insurance plan; profit sharing; being as flexible as we can with employees needing time off for their personal to do list; and paid time off including vacation days (based on years employed), five sick days and three personal days.

We were introduced to the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC). We have been blessed with being connected to Afghan-Vermonters by knowing one of the sponsor families. We have employed three full time employees through this program for just over a year now. They are great assets to our team.

How did you coordinate your current refugee resettlement workforce initiative?

K.T: We were connected with the right people. Our part-time sales associate is an acquaintance with a mutual friend of the sponsor family just mentioned, whom is a volunteer at ECDC. He was talking about jobs possibilities and our sales associated mention us here at ISA. Also, ISA’s owner, Andy Cay, knew this sponsor family through sports at Brattleboro Union High School (BUHS) for many years. The sponsor family has been key in assisting with communication, translators, and team building events.

Is the job training challenging for these workers?

K.T: No. They are quick learners and their work ethic is impeccable. They are good with their hands and learned the tools and the trade quickly. They are proud of the work they do. Language is a barrier, but something we are able to work through. We have an incredible lead installer in the field that takes the time to understand his associates and is able to guide and teach them in a way that they are able to comprehend and add value.

How have you overcome any training challenges?

K.T: Language is the biggest barrier. Connecting with the host families has been instrumental in clearing up communication issues. For meetings and in-house trainings, we bring in an interpreter.

Can other Vermont companies take advantage of this program?

K.T: Yes, other Vermont companies can take advantage of this program by contacting ECDC. Many local companies have employed other Afghans through the ECDC organization such as Southern Vermont Solar.

How can a business learn more about the refugee resettlement program?

K.T: The contact for ECDC for interested Vermont businesses to hire refugees is Abdul Rizwanzai. He can be reached at You can learn more about this program at


The ISA team takes to the rink. (Courtesy of sponsor family)

A team of three workers have been employed by ISA from the ECDC refugee resettlement program. They have been a great addition to the ISA team and help fill the employment voids for ISA. (Courtesy photos)

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