What a difference five years makes. Since 2010, the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN) has become the benchmark for building a highly qualified, well-trained solar workforce. Thanks to the vision and support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, this cohesive network of nine Regional Training Providers (RTPs), IREC and DOE championed vitally relevant issues in workforce development and solar training and education.
In the summer, I tend to listen to music more often than during the rest of the year. During my formative years, I was a fan of the rock group Pink Floyd, and yes, I still enjoy their music today. One of their more famous songs, “Another Brick in the Wall,” was released in 1979, the same year I started teaching, so it has special meaning to me. I made a pact with myself that I would never be just another brick in the wall, and I’d like to think that over my 32-year teaching career, I’ve made a difference.
There can’t be a much stronger seal of approval to a program’s success than to hear support for its growth straight from the president. Listening to a live feed of President Obama’s comments a few weeks ago on new clean energy initiatives, it was a proud moment for the SITN to hear of his support for additional investment in building a competent solar workforce.
Thank You Mr. President: More Support for Training Programs at Community Colleges Will Ready More Workers for Solar Jobs
May 9 was a momentous day for solar energy with one giant announcement kicking off a new set of promising and proven actions. President Obama publicized more than 300 private and public sector commitments to create jobs and cut carbon pollution by advancing solar deployment and energy efficiency. Some of these headline initiatives included innovative financing for deploying solar, two billion dollars in energy efficiency investments for federal buildings, improving appliance efficiency, strengthening building codes and, drumroll please, additional investment in building a competent solar workforce.