By Joe Sarubbi
Project Manager, Solar Instructor Training Network
When I worked as an electrician, I knew that most people had little idea how much effort went into installing a light and switch in a home. They only saw the end product – the light and switch – and didn’t always “value” the time and effort it took to install those devices. They rarely saw all my work accomplished within the walls.
As I talk with colleagues from across the country this time of year, a recurring theme is that old adage: “where did the year go?” It’s a great reminder to me that people are very busy and that I need to be conscientious of what, and how I ask of their time, recognizing all they do that’s not so visible.
As IREC’s project manager for the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN), I’m often leading discussions, seeking collaborative efforts throughout the network, making requests, helping to establish priorities, requesting information, and setting deadlines. While there are times I get to initiate these actions in-person, the vast majority of my efforts are accomplished virtually. I rarely get to see, in-person, the great work being accomplished by so many of my colleagues on the front lines, and the effort that goes into the results we see.
This past year, we heard the White House extolling the “value” of the Solar Instructor Training Network; praising the network for the 30,000+ individuals who received solar training through the SITN, and wanting the network to bring solar training to 50,000 individuals by 2020. Yes Mr. President, the SITN is poised and ready to reach that next goal. We’re already working hard, investigating the best ways to accomplish that goal.
As we turn-the-page on 2014, it’s a great time for all of us to recognize the value of the SITN. It’s also a great time to be conscientious of the efforts of instructors who are educating and training students within the walls of their classrooms; the administrators and support staff who are doing behind-the-scenes work within their institutions, and all the great work our partners are accomplishing within the walls of their organizations. This includes the wonderful IREC Team that constantly goes-to-the-mat for me every day! I look with great anticipation to 2015 knowing that, behind those walls, good things will continue to happen because of the Solar Instructor Training Network.
I hope you get a chance to relax and enjoy family and friends this upcoming week. I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season, and a very safe, healthy and Happy New Year! And I look forward to sharing with you all the wonderful plans we have in-store for 2015! I will see you again on the other side!