As the nation embraces the shift to renewable energy, community solar developers are going to need trained workers to complete the installations. Solar Landscape, a leading New Jersey community solar owner and developer, has started taking the initial steps to increase the local solar workforce.
In partnership with Edison Job Corps, Solar Landscape sponsored a training program designed to prepare new workers. The program, which will be run on a rolling basis, covers the necessary technical skills for solar installations. Participants will receive ample training in community solar development and installation before being referred to organizations partnered with Solar Landscape for possible immediate employment.
The first round of training was held for 18 solar hopefuls, who completed a part of the in-person instruction online due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders in New Jersey. Solar Landscapes’ program includes 40 hours of instruction and 40 hours of field training for hands-on experience with community solar and solar farms.
Taya Criss, one of the first trainees to complete the program, spoke highly of it. According to Criss, Solar Landscape’s program taught different aspects of community solar. Criss also stated that the program offered an opportunity to answer questions that trainees may have had about the industry.
In 2019, New Jersey community solar and solar projects saw a record number of installations. However, the number of industry jobs decreased. Solar Landscape’s training program aims to bring the workforce numbers back up to ensure the state’s solar projects aren’t hindered by the lack of installers.
Katelyn Gold, director of Jobs Training at Solar Landscape, stated that launching the program was a major achievement for Solar Landscape, a company invested in the local communities and the New Jersey solar industry. Gold further explained that the partnership with Edison Jobs Corps was the best way to deliver the training and prepare future installers in the community solar industry.
Edison Job Corps provides necessary training to help 16 to 24-year-olds find technical employment.