Clean energy employers consistently cite lack of skilled, qualified workers as one of their primary barriers to market expansion. At the same time, “opportunity” youth—Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor working—number above 4 million, according to the Aspen Institute. The potential for “green” jobs to pave a pathway out of poverty has long been recognized, but a mismatch between training and jobs has many times led to frustratingly low employment outcomes.
IREC works with stakeholders across industries to reach youth with information about clean energy careers, remove barriers to career entry and provide connections to employers.
IREC partnered with the Home Builders Institute (HBI) to bring solar skills and information about solar career pathways to HBI Job Corps students and administrators in selected markets. This national model is based on hands-on, experiential training and the employer-recognized Residential Rooftop Solar PV Technician Certification.
IREC leverages our Career Maps to reach youth and those supporting them with services about the universe of careers in clean energy.
(Pictured above: The Solar Foundation, now merged with IREC, held a 2018 event with the city of Philadelphia that recognized graduates of the city’s Find Your Power program, which trains high school students for solar and clean energy careers. Photo credit: Jared Piper, Philadelphia Energy Authority.)