The Solar Foundation has achieved national prominence for its programs and resources to strengthen the solar workforce. In addition to the highly acclaimed National Solar Jobs Census, The Solar Foundation is the National Administrator for Solar Ready Vets and Solar Training Network, two major programs funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. Additional workforce development programs at The Solar Foundation include:
Maryland Solar Jobs
Released in October 2015, this report builds on the results of the Maryland Solar Jobs Census 2014. The report provides a glimpse into the demographic makeup of the Maryland solar workforce and details both the opportunities for career mobility and the potential barriers to entry associated with workers from underserved populations.
Download the full report: MD Solar Jobs: Observations and Analysis for Underserved Populations
Solar Career Map
In order to enhance the training of solar professionals, The Solar Foundation has been an active supporter of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) in its capacity as the National Administrator of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN). The Solar Foundation provided the SITN with extensive background research for its interactive Solar Career Map. This tool allows instructors, policymakers, and job seeker to explore the broad range of careers available across the entire solar industry. The solar career lattice maps out three dozen solar occupations, charts possible career paths between these occupations, and outlines the skills and training required for each.
Funding Worker Training
The November 2012 release of Financing the Next Generation of Solar Workers marks the culmination of a joint effort between The Solar Foundation, SolarTech, and the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), working together under the SolarTech Workforce Innovations Collaborative (SWIC), to conceive of a number of innovative funding mechanisms to provide adequate private-sector funding for workforce training programs. This concept paper provides a starting point for a new path forward in financing solar workforce training. The three funding mechanisms described in the paper are not offered prescriptively; rather, our intention in proposing them is to motivate a discussion on how the solar industry and other stakeholders might come together to bridge the impending workforce funding gap.