IREC is pleased to announce the hiring of Cynthia Finley as its new Vice President—Workforce Strategy and Innovation. 

Finley will provide strategic direction and oversight of IREC’s Workforce Program, which supports the growth of a highly-trained and inclusive clean energy workforce that empowers individuals and communities. That includes work to support the expected surge in demand for skilled workers as a result of growing markets from the Inflation Reduction Act and other supportive policies, as well as an emphasis on ensuring that we achieve an equitable energy transition. Finley takes over for Laure-Jeanne Davignon, IREC’s previous Workforce Vice President. 

“Cynthia Finley is a fantastic addition to the IREC team,” said Larry Sherwood, IREC’s President and CEO. “She is a capable and knowledgeable leader who I know will successfully guide our workforce development programs as we work to meet the needs of the clean energy transition.”

“I am excited to join IREC’s team of talented and driven thought leaders,” Finley said. “I look forward to working with such a great team of experts to expand workforce opportunities in the clean energy space.”

Finley comes to IREC from the Virginia Community College System, where she previously served as Director of Workforce Development Programs and Partnerships. Her background includes experience in higher education, workforce development, adult education, fiscal management, programs for justice-impacted individuals, and research in building social capital for underserved communities. Finley is passionate about developing sustainable and equitable career opportunities and pathways for underrepresented populations in the clean energy workforce.

Finley’s published works include “Expanding College Programs in U.S. Prisons: Insights From Virginia,” published in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and she is currently completing a PhD in Higher Education at Old Dominion University. Prior to her experience at the Virginia Community College System, Finley worked at the Virginia Attorney General’s office and at the Virginia Department of Education, where she focused on the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act, Title II – Adult Education and Literacy. She has focused on serving underserved communities in Virginia throughout her career.