by Ryan Brandt
Northwest Washington Electrical Industry JATC

NW Wash JATC trainees
Apprentices practice the installation of PV systems in their 5th year of the Inside Wireman Apprenticeship at the Northwest Washington Electrical Industry J.A.T.C

Apprentices at the Northwest Washington Electrical Industry J.A.T.C (Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee) are gaining new skills installing solar photovoltaic systems, thanks in part to materials and equipment purchased under the Rocky Mountain Solar Training Provider (RMSTP) Solar Instructor Training Network grant.

This grant, funded under the Department of Energy Sun Shot initiative, allowed the training center to purchase updated PV equipment produced by local manufactures of PV modules and micro-inverters. The grant also provided for improved safety via fall protection railings installed on the training centers two mock training roofs. The training center recently completed two, three-day PV training sessions utilizing the updated equipment.

PV roof #4“With the updated PV equipment for the labs, apprentices can work with the same materials they will be installing on jobsites. This removes the learning curve they would normally experience, making them more confident and valuable in the field,” said Ryan Bradt, PV instructor at the JATC training center.

“In the class, I learned about the complete photovoltaic system and the current technology available in the market. The course allowed me to more fully understand the PV systems we are installing in the field,” said Scott McLendon, fifth-year inside wireman apprentice.

This past year, 35 apprentice and 10 Journeymen electricians received solar training from the JATC. This class is an elective for Journeymen electricians, but is required training for fifth-year apprentices. These trainings will take place every year as an integrated arm to the JATC’s existing electrical program.

Images: Northwest Washington Electrical Industry JATC

Elias Bishop, Utah Solar Energy Association, Rocky Mountain Solar Training Program, contributed to this story.