The network is led by TSF and funded by the Department of Energy, and aims to connect all the players in the solar workforce to ensure the human resources are growing as the gigawatts are.
The Solar Training Network connects the dots through original research, solar-focused career fairs and regional employer-instructor summits. TSF will offer an online directory where training providers, job seekers, employers and workforce development organizations can make connections.
One key factor to stimulate solar industry job growth is spreading awareness—a 2017 U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report found solar installer was the fastest-growing job in the country. But does the public know how to get into the field?
“While a large part of talent shortage occurs in supply-side sectors, a variety of roles such as solar marketing, sales, engineering and system design lie off the traditional beaten path of STEM careers,” said Megan Howes, program coordinator for the Solar Training Network.
Teaching students at public schools and community colleges about what a solar job looks like can help them consider a clean energy career after graduation.
TSF found another necessity in growing the workforce is increasing accessibility of hands-on installation training. TSF found installation companies were interested in providing training programs but didn’t have the resources to begin them. TSF aims to provide that information in a series of new resource papers coming out in July.
More connections between trainers, employers and job seekers will help the industry grow its people along with its watts.