Apprenticeships in Clean Energy Network

We can help you develop a high-quality Registered Apprenticeship program in clean energy.

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Apprenticeships are a proven tool for recruiting and retaining skilled and diverse workers. For clean energy companies, interest in apprenticeships is growing fast thanks to new incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act. Apprenticeship programs will help expand the clean energy workforce and build a pipeline of highly qualified and diverse talent.

IREC was selected by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship to serve as an Industry Intermediary for Registered Apprenticeships for clean energy. Through the Apprenticeships in Clean Energy (ACE) Network, IREC leads a national coalition of industry, training, and workforce development leaders to expand and diversify Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in the rapidly evolving clean energy sector.

The ACE Network reduces barriers to clean energy adoption and creates training and employment opportunities for workers across the U.S., including disadvantaged populations and underserved communities. The program supports the development of registered apprenticeship programs and aims to recruit and retain at least 2,500 apprentices over five years, with at least 50% from underrepresented groups, including women, people of color, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. Additionally, ACE provides technical and financial assistance to employers to develop and implement apprenticeship programs and to hire and retain diverse apprentices. By facilitating sustained investment in historically disadvantaged communities, ACE aims to expand inclusive and accessible pathways to clean energy careers with lasting impact beyond the project period.

What is a Registered Apprenticeship?

Apprentices are paid employees who receive on-the-job training and related technical instruction under the supervision of a mentor. Apprenticeships have been used throughout history to train people in occupations that require extensive practical experience to master.

A Registered Apprenticeship (RA) Program has been validated to meet the standards defined by the U.S. Department of Labor and/or a State Apprenticeship Agency. An RA typically takes between 2-5 years to complete. In many ways, the credential earned is similar to a degree issued upon completion of college education in a particular field of study.

Registered Apprenticeships Toolkit for Clean Energy Employers

This toolkit from IREC will take you step by step through the process of developing Registered Apprenticeships in the clean energy workforce.

How Can the ACE Network Help You?

  • We provide no-cost, high-quality technical assistance for employers and other potential sponsors throughout the process of designing, registering, implementing, and scaling Registered Apprenticeship programs aligned with national standards and industry-recognized credentials.
  • Drawing on proven strategies and best practices, ACE Network partners also offer curriculum resources and recruitment partnerships to support program development and sustainability. 
  • The ACE Network also has limited financial incentives available to support RA programs.

Get Started Now

Interested in exploring Registered Apprenticeships? We encourage clean energy employers, training providers, labor unions, and other interested parties to contact us and receive no-cost technical assistance to develop Apprenticeship Programs. In order that we can serve you best, please fill out this intake form to get started.

If you’d like more information, we’d encourage you to sign up to receive updates from IREC on Registered Apprenticeships. Scroll down to our signup form below!


More Resources from the Apprenticeships in Clean Energy (ACE) Network

Our ACE Network partners are regularly adding new resources to assist in the apprenticeship process. Current resources include:

Webinar: Powering Success: Tools for Embedding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) into Registered Apprenticeship. View this webinar from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) in partnership with the ACE Network. The webinar recording is available here and the slides are available here.

Guide to Incentive Funding for Registered Apprenticeships. The ACE Network has limited financial assistance available to support RA programs. View this fact sheet to learn how you can apply for funding.

Webinar: Exploring Registered Apprenticeships for Clean Energy Employers. View this recorded webinar from IREC, the Solar Energy Industries Association, and the Building Performance Association to learn more about how your company can cultivate a pipeline of highly qualified and diverse talent through registered apprenticeships.

For more information, view a related webinar on Registered Apprenticeships at a meeting of the IREC-led National Clean Energy Workforce Alliance.

One-Pager: Apprenticeships in Clean Energy (ACE) Network. Download and share this one-page flyer to learn more about Registered Apprenticeship opportunities through the ACE Network!

Apprenticeable Occupations in Clean Energy. A guide to common apprenticeable occupations for clean energy employers.

Clean Energy Apprenticeships: Making an Impact After Your Term of Service. A guide for young people who are completing service programs like AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps and seeking a transition to clean energy careers.

U.S. Department of Labor Resources

The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship Website has a wealth of information available on all aspects of apprenticeships for employers, job seekers, education providers, and others engaged in the apprenticeship system.

Some of the key resources from the DOL include:

Registered Apprenticeship Academy. A useful and comprehensive resource for Registered Apprentices, apprenticeship sponsors, and other stakeholders.

Apprenticeable Occupations. Identify occupations that are approved for apprenticeships (and many that are not approved), and download example work process schedules.

Partner Finder. Search to view approved sponsors, education providers, and more.

Standards Builder. Use this online tool to create and submit an apprenticeship program for approval. The page also contains a Tutorial, User Guide, and Requirements for Apprenticeship Reference Guide.

Apprenticeship System. Identify which states operate their own State Apprenticeship Agency and which utilize the U.S. DOL Office of Apprenticeship.

Veterans Fact Sheet. Learn how veterans can apply GI Bill benefits to an apprenticeship.

Grants Awarded. Search to find Intermediaries and others who have received DOL funding to support apprenticeships.

Inflation Reduction Act Resources. Find links to resources related to meeting the apprenticeship requirements of the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Federal Resources Playbook for Registered Apprenticeships. Use this guide to explore federal funding related to registered apprenticeships.

Universal Outreach Tool. This resource helps RA program sponsors expand their recruitment to more diverse and qualified candidates. It allows users to enter their location and search for local nonprofit, state, local, and community organizations that can aid the recruitment process.

Investments, Tax Credits, and Tuition Support. A guide to direct financial incentives to help cover costs associated with hiring and training apprentices, including tax credits and grants.

Implementing Effective Outreach and Selection in Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs). This training video provides additional information on equal employment opportunity best practices for apprenticeship programs.

Other Resources

Workforce GPS Apprenticeship Community of Practice. Workforce GPS is the online technical assistance resource supporting the U.S. workforce system, and includes an online “community of practice” with lots of resources for those involved in the apprenticeship system.

Internal Revenue Service Inflation Reduction Act Page. Find the latest guidance, interpretations, tax law changes, notices, and FAQs related to the labor provisions (and other requirements) of the IRA.

Inclusive Clean Energy Apprenticeships. The Partnership for Inclusive Apprenticeships has resources to help those involved in apprenticeships ensure their programs and practices are inclusive of people with disabilities.

Youth Apprenticeship Intermediary Project. Find resources on partnering with high schools, colleges, and others to engage youth ages 16-21 in apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programs.

Our Partners

Wanzek, a commercial and utility-scale renewable energy construction company, launched a Construction Craft Laborer Apprenticeship Program in 2022. The fully in-house program is designed to cultivate a pipeline of highly trained and talented craft team members.

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This project has been funded, either wholly or in part, with Federal funds from the Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration under Contract number [1605C2-23-C-0015], the contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement of same by the U.S. Government.