Solar Landscape, a leading New Jersey developer, designer, installer and owner of commercial and community solar projects completed its first online Solar Jobs Training Program this week in partnership with Edison Job Corps, a career technical training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that prepares 16 to 24 year-olds for employment and financial independence. The Solar Landscape-sponsored program will be held on a rolling basis and provide participants with the required introductory technical skills needed for employment as solar installers as well as referrals from partner organizations to aid in immediate employment.
A total of 18 trainees completed the first program. Edison Job Corps and Solar Landscape will also be offering NABCEP (The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) PV Associate certification courses.
“We want to prepare our students for careers in this growing and beneficial industry and felt the need to be proactive in launching our program early given all that is happening throughout the world,” said Tony Staynings, Work Based Learning Coordinator at Edison Job Corps. “Students will be able to progress at their own pace and speak with an instructor one-on-one with questions. We will closely monitor our student’s reaction to the training and are excited about the possibilities.”
The training program was initially planned for in-person instruction, but due to COVID-19 related stay-at-home directives, the two entities transitioned a portion to online instruction. The solar installer training program consists of 40 hours of online instruction followed by 40 hours of field training, to happen at a later date. The virtual classroom is designed to deliver the same curriculum as the in-person training and allows students to access the modules at any time.
“I loved it, it was very informative and a great opportunity to learn new information,” said Taya Criss, who completed the first training program. “I’m glad Solar Landscape has offered to train us and teach these elements of the solar industry and answer our questions. I definitely learned a lot and would do it again.”
Despite New Jersey installing a record number of solar projects in 2019, the state saw a decrease in industry jobs*. The Solar Landscape training program aims to help provide qualified, properly trained installers to not only aid in the local solar industry’s continued growth, but to also ensure safe, high-performing systems are built for our communities and energy users.
“Being in a position to train and mentor young people in our community is a huge achievement for the Solar Landscape team because we are all deeply committed to building up our local communities and the New Jersey solar industry,” said Katelyn Gold, director of Jobs Training at Solar Landscape. “When we found a partner in Edison Jobs Corps, we knew we’d have the best shot at preparing students for gaining employment as solar installers and that the staff and leadership would be as committed as we are to making this a successful program.”
*The Solar Foundation, National Solar Jobs Census 2019, www.thesolarfoundation.org