How can solar instructors openly share best practices and engage in ongoing conversations aimed at making solar training and instruction the best it can be? Tim Wilhelm, professor and program coordinator Electrical Technology, Renewable Energy Program at Kankakee Community College (KCC), proposed the concept to the National Science Foundation, resulting in an NSF grant to develop the solar instructor of community practice.
Kankakee County, Illinois, population of 112,000 and home of Kankakee Community College (KCC), is Tim Wilhelm country. A physics major from Kent State, Wilhelm’s past 20 years at KCC include an adjunct professor, student and graduate, and since 2006, the impresario of its Electrical Technology Program (ETP) focused on building a highly-qualified, well-trained clean energy workforce in Central Illinois. For such a small, rural community college some 66 miles southwest of Chicago, KCC’s ETP is raising community awareness and building the pipeline for a clean energy economy by promoting quality educational standards for a clean energy workforce writ large.
IREC honored national award winners for the Best of 2013 in renewable energy and energy efficiency at Solar Power International in Chicago. Awards were presented for: State & Local Government Project of the Year, Community Renewable Project of the Year, IREC Accredited Training Program of the Year, and IREC Certified Trainer of the Year. Four special recognition awards were also presented.