A program has been created by HBI and IREC to help at-risk youth get jobs in the solar power industry. Solar power job training and credentialing can help the target audience gain valuable skills and experience to help them advance in their careers. There are several million Americans who are in the 16-24 year-old age bracket who are not working or enrolled in school. Solar jobs are skilled and pay much better than typical fare for this age group such as working in the fast food industry.
Clean, renewable energy is also obviously an industry which some workers experience as much more meaningful than flipping burgers and slinging french fries, because solar power is better for the planet and human health than fossil fuels.
“This program builds on IREC’s decades of success advancing innovative workforce strategies and will benefit the solar industry with access to a diverse pool of vetted entry-level workers with the right skills to succeed,” said Laure-Jeanne Davignon, IREC’s director of workforce development.
The Residential Rooftop Solar PV Technician Certification was developed by HBI and IREC to help ensure those enrolled would be well-trained so they have a better chance of working in the solar power industry. Feedback from employers was sought and included during the certification development process for this purpose.
“The Residential Rooftop Solar PV Technician certification begins a new opportunity for HBI Job Corps students who can learn and excel in a rapidly-growing sector,” said HBI president and CEO John Courson.
At-risk youth are generally more likely to experience issues with substance abuse, crime, mental illness, teen pregnancy, and bullying, among others.
Solar PV installer is listed as the fastest growing occupation for the period 2016-2026 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For 2017, the media pay was $39,490, according to the same source.
Getting at-risk youth trained to do solar power jobs and enter into career tracks with sustainable pay would be a great boon for them.