The program, a part of a matching grant awarded to SEI through the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s WORK Act Grant, enables dedicated staffing and outreach efforts to a Colorado specific market. Chris Turek, Director of Marketing for SEI said, “We are excited that the State of Colorado selected our training and outreach program to ensure a highly skilled clean energy workforce here in our home state. The program provides training and career resources for those who have transferable skills wanting to get into this industry or for solar professionals who want to take their careers to the next level.”
The effort ensures Colorado’s talent pipeline will stay strong and prepare the state’s workforce for the changing landscape of energy production and distribution. The Solar Ready Colorado training and outreach initiative will be able to increase the number of Coloradans who can fill the predicted skilled workforce shortage in the state, specifically in the solar industry. In a recent 2015 solar jobs report, Colorado ranked in the top 10 nationally for solar jobs with almost 5000 employed in the sector that is growing exponentially (over 173% growth in the last 10 years). Colorado is attracting large solar PV investors and projects into our state, illustrating the necessity for Colorado to have a trained and skilled workforce to take on these projects vs. skilled labor resources being brought in from other states.
Together, SEI and GRID Alternatives Colorado provide a comprehensive experiential approach to solar energy training and a multitude of learning opportunities for those new to the industry. GRID Alternatives Colorado is a nonprofit that makes solar technology and on-the-job training accessible to underserved communities in Colorado while SEI, a nonprofit educational organization with over 45,000 alumni worldwide, provides formal solar energy technical training in classroom and hands-on lab environments.
Volunteer install opportunities with GRID Alternatives provide invaluable hours in the field working in tandem with educational programs like SEI’s industry-leading technical training courses. Utilizing a formal training program and volunteer time at community-based solar installation sites provides great experience for hopeful and veteran solar professionals as they progress through their careers, promoting the highly skilled, technical workforce that is the cornerstone of Solar Ready Colorado.
About Solar Energy International (SEI)
Solar Energy International (SEI) was founded in 1991 as a nonprofit educational organization. Their mission is to provide industry-leading technical training and expertise in renewable energy to empower people, communities, and businesses worldwide. With over 45,000 students and alumni worldwide
About GRID Alternatives
GRID Alternatives is America’s largest nonprofit solar installer making renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities through a network of community partners, volunteers, and philanthropic supporters. For more information, visit www.gridalternatives.org