What a difference five years makes. Since 2010, the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN) has become the benchmark for building a highly qualified, well-trained solar workforce. Thanks to the vision and support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, this cohesive network of nine Regional Training Providers (RTPs), IREC and DOE championed vitally relevant issues in workforce development and solar training and education.
In many ways, the attributes associated with raising a family are quite applicable to the SITN – with IREC as national administrator and the relationships between the Regional Training Providers (RTPs) and their partner institutions and instructor trainees. Today, solar programs all across the country are thriving and providing the industry with a talent pipeline.
President Barack Obama is expected to announce today a new goal to train 75,000 workers by 2020 for the growing solar energy industry, including military veterans.
Today, February 13, 2015, is graduation day for the first group of veterans in a Solar PV Training pilot program specifically for veterans, from the SunShot Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy.
When I worked as an electrician, I knew that most people had little idea how much effort went into installing a light and switch in a home. They only saw the end product – the light and switch – and didn’t always “value” the time and effort it took to install those devices. They rarely saw all my work accomplished within the walls.
The release of Trends Shaping our Clean Energy Future, an annual report by IREC, presents information and an independent perspective on the year’s renewable energy and energy efficiency progress and challenges across the U.S., and the activities, research, publications, expert insight and recommendations that are helping shape our clean energy future.
Madison Area Technical College (MATC) in Madison, Wisconsin, and Solar Energy International (SEI), recently held an Advanced Solar Electric Academy for community college and high school instructors from across the United States and Guam at SEI’s training facility in Paonia, Colorado. The training was funded through MATC’s National Science Foundation grant. Eight of the 14 colleges are part of the Department of Energy’s Solar Instructor Training Network.
There can’t be a much stronger seal of approval to a program’s success than to hear support for its growth straight from the president. Listening to a live feed of President Obama’s comments a few weeks ago on new clean energy initiatives, it was a proud moment for the SITN to hear of his support for additional investment in building a competent solar workforce.
Thank You Mr. President: More Support for Training Programs at Community Colleges Will Ready More Workers for Solar Jobs
May 9 was a momentous day for solar energy with one giant announcement kicking off a new set of promising and proven actions. President Obama publicized more than 300 private and public sector commitments to create jobs and cut carbon pollution by advancing solar deployment and energy efficiency. Some of these headline initiatives included innovative financing for deploying solar, two billion dollars in energy efficiency investments for federal buildings, improving appliance efficiency, strengthening building codes and, drumroll please, additional investment in building a competent solar workforce.
As PV installed capacity continues to grow, systems age, sizes increase, and lessons are learned, operations and maintenance (O&M) has become one of the fastest-growing segments of the PV industry. Join SEI’s Rebekah Hren & Brian Mehalic from 2-3pET on May 6 for a deep dive into this hot issue.