Solar Workforce Development
Led by IREC and Pathstone Corp., the Puerto Rican Solar Business Accelerator is supporting the growth of a skilled and diverse workforce in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico’s solar and construction industries need the best human capital to reach their full potential. The PRSBA identifies current and future solar workforce needs, provides on-the-job training, and identifies gaps between the technical studies curriculum and the industry’s needs. We also offer assistance to individuals interested in joining the solar industry in a technical occupation, such as solar installer or construction worker.
The PRSBA’s workforce development component is built on years of leadership and expertise at IREC, Pathstone Corp., and other PRSBA partners. The PRSBA is focused on assisting the economic recovery in Puerto Rico through training and technical assistance for local businesses, along with efforts to match local job seekers with current workforce needs. In addition, we are committed to helping unemployed workers develop skills to prepare them for solar and construction jobs available now or in the future.
Unprecedented Solar Job Growth
Our report Puerto Rico Solar Jobs in 2050 projects exponential growth in solar jobs to meet the deadlines set out by law for renewable energy growth. Puerto Rico will need to increase its solar capacity from 386 MW to 16,275 MW by 2050. Achieving this will require almost 20,000 new solar jobs in installation, project development, sales and distribution, operation and maintenance, and manufacturing, among other areas.
Solar Industry Workforce Market Study
In this report, we conducted in-depth interviews and an online survey of solar firms in Puerto Rico. The questions covered workforce trends such as certifications, training, career pathways, and gender issues. We also asked about industry challenges and solutions related to COVID-19, unmet needs, and proposed certifications.
Solar Workforce Interviews
The Solar Foundation (now merged with IREC) published a report on human capital needs in the Puerto Rico solar workforce. This report was issued in partnership with the Institute for Building and Technology Safety (IBTS) to identify career development gaps, ways to improve professional certification processes, and opportunities for professional growth.
In April and May 2021, we conducted interviews with solar industry professionals including designers, installers, business developers, and others. The interviews covered solar industry challenges and trends, gender equity, workforce needs, and training. The findings shed light on how the PRSBA can better support the local solar industry, the best training approaches to meet local needs, and how to develop a workforce to support Puerto Rico’s energy future.
Along with the in-depth interviews, PRSBA joined ACONER, Clinton Global Initiative, Solar One, Solar Energy International, and the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) to issue an online survey that will help develop a profile of solar businesses and understand their needs regarding professional certification and gender equity, among other themes. The results of this survey are crucial to identify new ways to support the local workforce.