The solar installation at Eastern Mennonite University enabled the university to go solar with no capital expenditure

Solar Workforce Development

Solar Workforce Development

By installing solar and combining it with a workforce development program, schools support local employment and create vocational training opportunities. Solar installers and technicians are among the country’s fastest growing job titles. Over the last five years, solar employment increased 44%, five times faster than job growth in the overall U.S. economy, according to Generation 180.

Automation Cuts Many Jobs

In the past, offshoring was the biggest threat to high-paid jobs that didn’t require a college degree. Today that threat comes from automation. Robotics and artificial intelligence are just two of the growing technologies that have made many traditional manufacturing positions and other skilled technical jobs obsolete. By 2025, the World Economic Forum predicts that humans and machines will spend the same amount of time on tasks at work. As the job market changes rapidly, high schools struggle to keep up as they adapt their workforce development from the jobs of yesterday to the careers of tomorrow.

Electrifying Careers

“Renewable Energy Boom Unleashes a War Over Talent for Green Jobs,” reported Bloomberg News in 2022. As industries and localities seek to “electrify everything,” electricity is replacing traditional fuels in transportation, heating and cooling, and machines and appliances. That’s opened new opportunities for workers trained as electricians and as technicians for electric vehicles and renewable energy. In electricity generation, solar was the fastest growing technology, adding 17,212 jobs and growing 5.4% in 2021, according to the World Economic Forum.

Qualifying Students for Immediate Employment

With solar power the fastest growing source of new electricity generation in the U.S., the industry is eager to recruit qualified workers to design, install, and maintain solar arrays, careers that cannot be automated or outsourced to the international market. Our solar workforce development program partners with a local community college to offer high school students classroom instruction and supervised hands-on experience installing solar equipment, giving students a head start in one of the fastest growing careers in the economy today. This experience can qualify students to seek immediate employment as solar technicians or, with the proper coursework, as electricians. In some cases, our program can offer qualified graduates employment opportunities installing solar panels on their own schools.

Preparing Students for Long-Term Careers

The industry also offers exciting opportunities for engineers, financial planners, public policy analysts and even attorneys, accountants, and communicators. The knowledge that students gain in classroom and practical work on solar can also serve as foundation for further education to qualify for a variety of professional careers in renewable energy or electrified industries like transportation.

How Secure Solar Futures is Different

While many solar companies are newcomers to serving schools, Secure Solar Futures has provided energy solutions to education since 2010. And while other companies offer job training, our company employs a “demand-pull” model of workforce development that can, in many cases, offer both training and immediate employment.

“Mountain Empire Community College is excited about the partnership and opportunity to bring more solar installation projects to our service region. The partnership will provide MECC’s Energy Technology program students and graduates with incredible new hands-on opportunities in solar installation.” – Dr. Kristen Westover, President of Mountain Empire Community College

Contact us to see how we can help with your needs for career and technical education in renewable energy

Sample Projects

  • Electric schools buses are parked in a line with a blue sky behind them.

    Lee County Public Schools

    Solar Helps Run 5 Campuses & Could Power EV Buses in the Future

    10 megawatts

    Lee County Schools is putting solar on nine campuses while piloting a project to charge new electric school buses with on-campus solar power.

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  • Apprentice solar technician wearing a white hard hat and an orange shirt.

    Wise County Schools

    A workforce running on clean energy

    3.2 megawatts

    At Wise County Schools in Southwest Virginia coal country, solar will save $7.5 million while a workforce development program trains students as solar technicians.

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