February 14 – Workforce Development: Creating Successful CleanTech Internship Programs

Today’s interns are tomorrow’s leaders. What strategies are our members using to design successful training programs for young professionals? How are they tackling key challenges, such as bridging generational divides and navigating the shifting demands of remote/hybrid work?

We invite you to join this dynamic lunch conversation at the Perkins Coie office downtown Seattle with ample time to network. Our panelists will also explore topics, such as how they are attracting diverse talent, evolving their educational programming to address concerns like mental health, and changing how they present feedback.

Featured Speakers:

Melissa Ambrose, Talent Acquisition Manager, McKinstry

Melissa is talent acquisition leader at McKinstry, a national construction, engineering and energy services leader committed to innovating waste and climate harm out of the built environment. An alumni of WSU, she has over 12 years of experience leading talent acquisition for organizations across the public and private sectors, and now leads McKinstry’s recruiting efforts for their diverse workforce across the country. Melissa lives in the Seattle area with her husband and 2 children, and is passionate about nurturing the growth of emerging talent through McKinstry’s innovative BLUE Internship Program (Build, Learn, Understand, Enrich).

Each year, McKinstry’s BLUE program hosts between 40-55 interns nationwide in roles ranging from Construction, Energy, Engineering, Social Impact, Technical Services and more. The internship program is designed to facilitate collaboration, exploration and mentorship, while engaging students in meaningful career development.  Melissa is passionate about fostering a culture of continuous learning, diversity and inclusion in our BLUE internship program and is proud of the success McKinstry has seen in this program over the years.

Megan Elmore, Talent Acquisition Specialist, McKinstry

Megan Elmore is a talent acquisition professional at McKinstry. Her experience at McKinstry has come full circle as she started as an intern and now leads McKinstry’s BLUE (Build, Learn, Understand, Enrich) Internship Program. Megan’s journey reflects her dedication to developing talent and fostering a culture of growth. In her role, she travels across the country actively seeking and engaging with top-tier candidates, ensuring that the McKinstry BLUE Internship program attracts and develops the best and brightest in the industry. Megan is a proud University of Washington alumni and can be found cheering on the huskies and seahawks in her free time.

Alice Massara, Strategic People Programs Manager, Tacoma Power | Tacoma Public Utilities

Alice has over two decades of experience in organizational and leadership development, strategy, and developing innovative workforce solutions. She joined the City of Tacoma as a Labor Negotiator in 2007, and has spent the most recent 14 years working primarily in Tacoma Power, a division of Tacoma Public Utilities, as management staff supporting the T&D and Generation operating divisions with organizational development, and later in the Rates Planning and Analysis section focused on workforce planning and strategy development.

She holds a bachelors from University of Washington, a Masters in Public Administration, and is dual credentialed as a Senior Professional in Human Resources. Currently her role focuses on business systems improvement, employee programs, workforce development, and DEI for Tacoma Public Utilities.


Steve Abercrombie, Faculty Coordinator – Sustainable Building Science Technology, South Seattle College

Steve Abercrombie is educator and consultant with a focus on technology and sustainability in building design, construction and operations. Steve has more than fifteen years’ experience working on sustainable building projects worldwide including commercial office, retail, hospitality, and multifamily. Steve has consulted on hundreds of buildings, and served as a third-party LEED Reviewer for the US Green Building Council for hundreds more.

Prior to becoming the Faculty Coordinator for the Sustainable Building Science Technology Program, steve previously served as a project manager for the Smart Buildings Center where he was responsible for a range of areas including strategy, management, analysis, and relationships across several state and federal government agencies. Steve has been a consultant for almost a decade, working in Fortune 500, government agencies, real estate developers and REITs, and non-profits to organize and lead complicated programs to successful outcomes. Steve is a former regional Vice President of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild. Prior to working in sustainable buildings, Steve has a background in technology and environmental informatics.

Introductory Speaker:

Julie Lucht, Partner, Perkins Coie

Julie Lucht is an experienced trial lawyer who defends clients in all phases of litigation relating to employment discrimination and other employment-related claims. She counsels and defends clients in connection with issues and claims arising under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), Washington State Paid Family and Medical Leave Law (WPFML), the Washington Equal Pay and Opportunities Act (EPOA), the Equal Pay Act (EPA), the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA), the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Right Act (USERRA), and other statutory and common law employment claims.

Julie has an active counseling practice that includes drafting employee handbooks, separation and termination agreements, equal employment opportunity policies, sexual harassment policies, employee leave policies, reasonable accommodation policies, and employment contracts. She has extensive experience with disability and leave law issues and is a frequent speaker on those topics. Julie has served as temporary in-house counsel for a Fortune 100 company, handling a range of employment matters.

Julie is an approved Rule 39.1 neutral for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington’s Alternative Dispute Resolution program, and represents clients in arbitration, mediation, and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings. She also represents clients in special remedies litigation instigated to protect clients from trade secret misappropriation, corporate raiding, breach of contract and fiduciary duties, and other employment-related offenses. Julie also defends clients in class action litigation and in lawsuits litigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Her work frequently includes support on labor and employment law issues in negotiation, diligence, and transition planning in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) for public and private companies.