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Women's solar training workshop opens up a world of possibilities for SEI alumna

Posted by: april
May 18, 2010
Solar Energy International alumna Kyra Moore
Solar Energy International is embarking on a new season of women's solar training this summer. SEI Women's PV Workshop alumna Kyra Moore was happy to share her experience at the women's class of '08:

When I first arrived in Paonia, Colo., to attend the Women's PV Design class at SEI I had no idea that two years later I would working for a competitive solar company, with a NABCEP Solar PV Installer certificate under my belt, designing everything from small residential systems to larger commercial PV farms. I entered the women's class with a friend because we were interested in renewable energy, but at that point neither of us had decided to make a permanent career change, although both of us ended up entering the PV field almost immediately after the class! The women's class was more appealing to us because the class was a two-week course that involves an over-night stay, and we wanted to feel comfortable.  I have no problem working and learning with men, but there is something unique about the energy of an all-female environment. One of the most memorable moments of the class was on the first day when everyone in the class introduced themselves and said what they hoped to get out of the class. I was blown away with the knowledge, experiences, and expertise in all different fields that was enclosed in one class room, can you say women-power!  

The course material was challenging, and the hands on experience was essential to locking in the knowledge acquired in the classroom. The hands-on work in the PV lab provided many first experiences, stripping a wire, using a meter, working with electricity in general. Conversations throughout the week with classmates as well as instructors inspired me about my own future and opportunities and during the second week my friend had already applied to a PV company in New Orleans, LA! When the class came to an end, the connections we made continued and through email an instant network of support was created. It was great to follow everyone through their journey after the class, as many continued to find RE related work.  

When I returned to North Carolina, I contacted the local solar company Southern Energy Management and started work right away as an installer. I installed many systems over a years' time and was able to use skills taken from the class as well as learning an amazing amount of information on site.  I also installed 6kW system on my dad's house with the help of four graduates of the women's class! The experience and knowledge helped me gain my NABCEP certificate and I've since transitioned to a sales/design position, continuing to educate myself. 

The Women's PV design class was an amazing springboard to my career not only because of the information I learned but because of the inspiring atmosphere!  Who knows where I'll go from here...
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