STEP | Solar Training and Education for Professionals
Solar Resources and Training to Reach Allied Professionals Through Partnerships in the Firefighting, Code Official and Inspection Sectors
“This project represents a natural progression for IREC, based on our long history building a competent and highly-skilled workforce for the clean energy sectors.”
Laure-Jeanne Davignon, Director Workforce/Credentialing
As the solar industry matures and diversifies, there is an increasing need for other allied professions to know more about solar technologies, both for safety and quality assurance. Firefighters, local code officials, and electrical and building inspectors all have an important role in the rapidly changing clean energy economy.
If market growth in the solar sector is to continue in a safe and sustainable way, quality workforce training for industries that touch solar is imperative in order to enhance their expertise and add to their professional development toolkits.
Recognizing this need, the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative created the new Solar Training and Education for Professionals (STEP) program. IREC was awarded funding in April 2016 to coordinate outreach and develop solar training resources designed to target 100,000 professionals in the building code, inspection and firefighting sectors. IREC will reach 10,000 professionals with direct training, and position project partners to continue solar training as an integral component of their professional development platforms.
IREC’s STEP Partners
- The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) represent the fire service.
- The International Code Council’s Solar Rating & Certification Corporation (ICC-SRCC) and the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) represent a wide range of code officials and building and electrical inspectors.
- Private sector partners Interplay Learning and Embedded Assessments support development, delivery and evaluation of training.
The goal is to increase the understanding and working knowledge of solar technology and practices. After identifying the needs of each professional sector, high-quality, competency-based training, customized resources and new instruction will be created and integrated into existing in-person and online training programs.
Opportunities to integrate adult learning principles and technology solutions, including webinars and mobile tools/resources, will build efficiencies into existing training for an impactful, cost-effective reach.