The need for workers in the solar industry is so strong, that a New England-based solar company, ReVision Energy, is taking matters into its own hands by launching its own electrical apprentice school.
On Wednesday, November 14th, ReVision Energy will officially launch the school at its New Hampshire headquarters on in Brentwood, New Hampshire (US). The launch will include a public open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of National Apprenticeship Week and will feature New Hampshire workforce development leaders, Department of Labor officials, and local solar apprentices.
The new ReVision Energy Technical Center (RETC), approved by the State of New Hampshire, will enable workers without a college degree to complete the requisite classroom training and hands-on experience to become certified electricians, all while earning a competitive wage as an electrical apprentice and employee-owner of ReVision Energy, the leading solar installer in New England. RETC is also a state-approved, in-house electrical program in Maine. ReVision Energy currently has more than a dozen open positions and is among the hundreds of New Hampshire businesses that are severely constrained by a lack of available workers.
The school will be led by ReVision Energy master electrician Nathan Poland, a former electrical technology instructor and director of the New Hampshire state electrical apprenticeship program at Dover School of Technology.
“ReVision Energy is committed to expanding work opportunities and supporting apprenticeship programs,” said Poland. “These programs will allow workers without a four-year degree to develop valuable skills and to advance in their fields. Apprenticeship in the trades is a solid career choice, as is choosing the path of a post-secondary, two or four-year college.”
To accelerate the clean energy transition in New England, ReVision Energy encourages lawmakers to participate in the open house and work together year-round to develop sound public policies that will address New Hampshire’s workforce, demographic, and environmental challenges. The solar industry, which already employs over 250,000 mainly younger workers nationwide, is considered a prime opportunity for New Hampshire to meet these three areas of need. According to CNN, two-thirds of young people find clean energy jobs appealing and a similar percentage are opposed to working in non-renewable energy industries.
Transitioning New Hampshire to 100% clean energy would create more than 16,000 permanent, local jobs in the coming decades while addressing climate change and bringing down energy costs, according to research from Stanford University. There is currently a severe shortage of skilled workers to meet the demand for solar installations nationwide.
Former electrical and plumbing apprentices, as well as leaders from the Department of Labor, Electrical Contractors Business Association (ECBA), International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) and other institutions will be available at the November 14th open house to outline career opportunities in the trades and to answer questions. The event will include warehouse tours and refreshments, as well as discussions on how the clean energy industry and apprenticeship programs create high-quality, middle-class jobs and attract young workers who, historically, have been difficult to retain in the state.