Tag Archives: The Solar Foundation

The Solar Foundation releases a new solar jobs toolkit

Strategies for Solar Workforce Development: A Toolkit for the Solar Industry was published by the Solar Training Network, a program The Solar Foundation leads that is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.

The toolkit is designed to help meet the high demand for qualified employees and build a skilled and diverse solar workforce. Written for both large employers and small solar businesses, the toolkit includes a detailed guide for setting up work-based learning programs to invest in current and future workers.

This new toolkit includes a Workforce Development Action Plan showing how solar companies can partner with local workforce development boards and American Job Centers to support the hiring, recruitment, and training process.

The toolkit also includes a step-by-step implementation guide for building a work-based learning program, including internships, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training.

Download the toolkit here.

SOLAR TRAINING NETWORK INFOGRAPHICS – CLICK TO ENLARGE 

The Business Case for Solar Training                                                   Help Wanted 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Vintage hiring and training solutions for a better solar workforce

In this op-ed for pv magazine, The Solar Foundation’s Chris Walker explores issues of aligning solar training programs with workforce needs. Walker is Senior Program Manager for the Solar Training Network at The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the use of solar and solar-compatible technologies worldwide.

200 Communities Are Now SolSmart Designees!

Today, with the designation of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, SolSmart marked the 200th community nationwide to achieve designation as SolSmart Gold, Silver, or Bronze!  These 200 designees are in 35 states and the District of Columbia and represent over 59 million Americans.

The application process is now open for the third round of SolSmart Advisors. SolSmart Advisors provide no-cost, hands-on technical assistance in communities that are selected through this competitive application process. Each Advisor works in a community or region full-time for approximately six months.

SolSmart is accepting applications for both 1) Communities interested in hosting an Advisor, or 2) Organizations interested in serving as Advisors. Learn more here.

Attend SolSmart webinars on May 16, 2018 to find out more about the process.

  • Webinar for Community-Based Application: 2pm Central Time. Register here.
  • Webinar for the Organization-Based RFP: 3pm Central Time. Register here.

Examples of actions SolSmart communities have taken to make solar
more affordable and accessible for homes and businesses:

  • Cutting permitting costs and saving money for customers. For example, West Palm Beach, Florida started a “walk-through” permit process that takes as little as 15 minutes.
  • Engaging with community members to encourage solar development. For example, a SolSmart Advisor helped the cities of Goshen and South Bend, Indiana launch Solarize campaigns, which allow residents to come together to install solar at a discounted cost.
  • Reducing zoning obstacles to solar. For example, Brownsville, Texas adopted a zoning ordinance that will help facilitate the growth of new solar projects.
  • Streamlining inspection processes. For example, Pima County, Arizona launched a “remote inspections” process to provide same-day approval on solar and other projects.
  • Encouraging local job growth. Solar energy employs more than 250,000 Americans.
    A SolSmart designation positions a city or county to bring these jobs to the local community.
  • Other actions SolSmart communities have taken include installing solar on government buildings, developing “solar-ready” construction guidelines, integrating solar PV with energy storage, hosting community-wide solar workshops, and training local government staff.

Visit SolSmart.org for more information.

Opportunity for Nebraska Communities & Organizations: Applications Open for Third Round of SolSmart Advisors

SolSmart has announce the opening of the application process for the third round of SolSmart Advisors. SolSmart Advisors provide no-cost technical assistance in communities that are selected through this competitive application process. Each Advisor works in a community or region full-time for approximately six months. Our previous Advisors have assisted communities in launching Solarize campaigns, modeling solar installations on government buildings, streamlining solar permitting processes, and much more.

There are two application pathways and the appropriate pathway is determined by the lead applicant: 1) a local government; or 2) an organization.

All applications are due by June 4, 2018.

Community-Based Application

This application is for local governments (cities, counties, villages, and towns) that want to apply to host a SolSmart Advisor for themselves and/or a group of communities. The most competitive applications will include a partnership between two or more communities (a “cohort”), with a larger number of communities being preferable. 

Organization-Based RFP

This pathway is for organizations including, but not limited to, councils of government, regional planning commissions, community organizations, and energy and environmental nonprofits. Organizations interested in acting as Advisors will apply through an RFP.

Read SolSmart’s blog post which provides more information on the pathways, application timelines, and a schedule of upcoming webinars on these opportunities.

The Solar Foundation Releases the Solar Jobs Census 2017

Each year, The Solar Foundation releases its National Solar Jobs Census, a report that tracks employment in the U.S. solar industry. It is the most comprehensive analysis of the solar labor market in the United States, and is a critical resource in educating policymakers and the general public about the economic impact of solar energy.

In 2017, the census reported its first decline in solar jobs since its inception 8 years ago. As of November 2017, the solar industry employs 250,271 workers in the United States, a 3.8% decline over 2016. This decrease is largely due to a record year of installations in 2016 on the heels of the extension of the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), as well as delays and postponed projects due to uncertainty around the newly appointed Section 201 tariffs.

Download the Infographic
Access the Full Report

Solar Power is Heating Up at Schools Nationwide

By Tish Tablan, National Organizer, Generation 180

More and more schools are taking advantage of their large roofs and open spaces to generate clean power and save money. Solar schools are creating a brighter future by spreading energy awareness to students, parents, and the community.

Generation 180 has recently launched some exciting initiatives to empower schools nationwide to take advantage of all the benefits of solar energy.

  • We’ve just launched our nationwide Solar Schools campaign, which aims to help schools go solar with greater confidence and success.
  • We’ve partnered with The Solar Foundation and the Solar Energy Industries Association  to produce the 2017 Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in US Schools.  This report provides the most comprehensive inventory of solar schools across America and shares the successful approaches of schools transitioning to solar power
  • In addition to the report, Generation 180 offers how-to resources to empower stakeholders to become solar champions who can effectively advocate for solar schools in their own communities.

You Can Help Schools Go Solar

You can help make a brighter future possible. Generation 180 is forming teams of volunteers throughout the country to rally local support from educators, district leaders and community members and providing resources to assist schools in going solar. Contact us to learn about starting a volunteer team in your community. Learn about volunteer teams.

  • Generation 180 is a non-profit committed to advancing the transition to clean energy and supporting a cultural shift in energy awareness through original, engaging content, digitally-enabled campaigns, and an empowered volunteer network.
  • Questions? Contact National Organizer Tish Tabian: tish@generation180.org
  • U.S. Solar Schools Map
  • Nebraska Solar Schools, founded by Nebraskans for Solar and statewide partners, is a program  that provides K-12 educators with resources and tools for incorporating renewable energy education into their classrooms and schools. The resources support Nebraska and national science standards. The program is offered to public and non-public schools, as well as places like schools such as children’s museums, zoos, nature preserves and science and technology centers.

Bringing life-saving power to Puerto Rico

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine USA

In this interview, Solar Foundation President and Executive Director Andrea Luecke talks about how Solar Saves Lives came together, what the organization is doing now and what it needs.
Click here to read the entire interview.

Photo by Operation Blessing

ALSO PUBLISHED BY PV MAGAZINE USA   

Study Provides Baseline Insights On Solar Industry Workforce Diversity 

Solar industry improves recruitment of women but still lags in
equal wages and positions for people of color

Washington, D.C. — New research released by The Solar Foundation in partnership with the Solar Energy Industries Association’s Women’s Empowerment Committee reveals that the 260,000-worker-strong U.S. solar energy workforce is more diverse than similar American industries, but still needs to make progress in order to ensure fairness and equality for its employees. The 2017 U.S. Solar Industry Diversity Study provides statistically significant evidence for what has long been casually observed, proving that women and people of color face significant hurdles to accessing the equal pay and senior positions of their white male counterparts, with women of color being affected the most. The 2017 U.S. Solar Industry Diversity Study is the first comprehensive study on diversity of the U.S. solar energy industry. Continue reading.

Lincoln, Nebraska Among 58 Communities In 25 States Achieving SolSmart Designation

Posted by Avery Palmer, SolSmart News Blog
SolSmart is a U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Program

Just over a year after the SolSmart program launched, 58 communities in 25 states have achieved designation as “open for solar business.” Representing more than 29 million people, these cities and counties are cutting red tape to reduce the cost of solar energy at the local level.

Today, SolSmart is announcing the latest 22 new designations at the American Planning Association National Planning Conference in New York City. We’re excited and proud to recognize what they’ve achieved. Continue reading.

You can see a map and list of all SolSmart designees here.

NEW! Solar Training Network: A Free Tool To Facilitate Solar Career Connections

The Solar Training Network is a new program led by The Solar Foundation that is designed to help meet the workforce needs of the solar industry through solar training and strategic employment partnerships. This solar career platform provides a connection hub for solar job seekers, solar companies looking for new hires, solar training providers, and workforce development boards. The website has just launched so keep checking for updates.

In 2016, over 260,000 people were working in the solar energy industry and 1 in 50 newly added jobs in the United States were in the solar energy industry. This means that the solar energy industry is adding workers at a rate nearly 17 times faster than the overall economy. Solar jobs are projected to grow 10% in 2017 to 286,335.

National Solar Jobs Census: Nebraska among states reporting strongest employment growth

The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2016 is the seventh annual update on current employment, trends, and projected growth in the U.S. solar industry. The Solar Jobs Census 2016 found that solar employment increased by over 51,000 workers, a 25 percent increase over 2015. Overall, the Solar Jobs Census found there were 260,077 solar workers in 2016. Solar industry employment has nearly tripled since the first National Solar Jobs Census was released in 2010. Click infographic to enlarge it. 

Download Solar Jobs by State (PDF)

Click here to watch brief YouTube video: Solar Jobs Census 2016.