Work-Trade Program

For over 20 years, SEI’s Work-Trade Program has enabled people to hone their renewable energy technology skills and improve their capabilities while helping to strengthen and grow SEI. In fact, the majority of our current staff were once work-traders!




The Co-Founder of SEI Johnny Weiss is seeking an Executive Assistant. Now retired from SEI, Johnny is actively working on special projects that are in alignment with SEI’s mission. This worktrade position is for approximately 10-15 hours/ week for the duration of the trade. Though Johnny is based in Paonia, CO, this position can be based remotely with occasional short intervals of work from Paonia. (Any travel will not be reimbursed).

These special projects include:

  1. Collaborating with USA non-profit organizations to help develop community-based solar training facilities on Native American reservations.
  2. Helping international and local NGO’s, technical experts and individual philanthropists develop a community-based solar microgrid project in the Maasai Village of Terrat, Tanzania East Africa.
  3. Other initiatives under development.

Applicants are encourage to visit for additional background information and overview of the past three years of this ongoing charitable work.

This position requires the following:

  1. A sincere desire to contribute to charitable solar projects
  2. The ability to work semi-independently and remotely
  3. Good oral and written communication skills
  4. Advanced computer and internet skills
  5. The ability to multi-task and work with a flexible schedule
  6. Excellent PPT and presentation skills
  7. Grant research and grant writing knowledge and skills

This position does NOT include the opportunity for paid international travel.


Job Description/Purpose: The purpose of this position is to assist the SEI Student Services Team and Director in their functions with our students. The ideal candidate for this position is fluent in both English and Spanish, and has excellent, accurate and efficient data processing skills to assist in serving our English and Spanish-speaking students.

This position is ideally 10 hours a week, spread throughout the week (time can be flexible) and can be based remotely, including internationally.  Also this position ideally will be interested in trading their work valued at $15/hr towards SEI’s entire training program including labs and certificate programs (over $6000 value or more).




SEI offers its Work-Traders a credit equivalent to $15/ hour for each hour worked. You can trade up to 100% of the tuition of each class. We strive to have all of our work-traders complete their work portion before taking any workshops, so most work-traders work in the spring or early summer and then complete their workshops after that.

Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible to become an SEI work-trader you must:

  1. Due to Visa restrictions, you must be a resident of the US or Canada for most work-trade positions.   For positions that allow for international applicants, the applicant is responsible for obtaining a travel visa (if needed) for to travel to any in-person training at our Colorado or Costa Rica campus location.
  2. Possess the skills for a position we seek to be filled. Remember, this is not an internship; it is a work-trade agreement in which we match our needs to your existing skills. Even so – you’ll probably end up learning a lot just by working with us! Please review our Work-Trade Policies Document below for more information.
  3. You must download an application and email it to our Work Trade Coordinator, Breccia Cressman (contact info listed below)
  4. Provide the contact information for (2) references – past employers, supervisors, professors, etc. (no family members please).
  5. Be available for a phone or in-person interview.
  6. Desired applicants are highly self-motivated, consistently willing to take initiative, require very little supervision, and are comfortable working hard in non-traditional, fun, social, and serious work environments.

Work-Trade Policies (download PDF)

Work-Trade Application Form (download and fill out Word doc)

Application Deadlines:

Applications are being accepted on on-going basis (when position openings are actively posted). Once a position has been filled we will remove it from the website. Please sign up for SEI’s e newsletter for the most up to date information on our work-trade program and all of our great offerings, alumni stories, and renewable energy news.

Please email your application to [email protected], or to ask questions about the program.