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Obama Administration announces expansion of solar jobs training program

Goal is to train 75,000 people to enter the solar workforce by 2020.

On April 3, President Obama addressed attendees at the Hill Air Force base in Salt Lake City, Utah. Specifically, he announced plans to train 75,000 people to enter the solar workforce by 2020 -- that's an  increase on our previous goal of 50,000 solar workers. To reach this goal, the Department of Energy launched their SunShot Initiative’s Solar Instructor Training Network, which has trained 1,000 certified solar instructors and nearly 30,000 students nationwide in the last five years.

Second, the President announced the launch of a Solar Ready Vets Program. This initiative will train transitioning military service personnel, including those stationed at the Hill Air Force Base, for careers in the quickly growing solar industry. Service members will learn how to size and install solar panels, connect electricity to the grid, and comply with local building codes, making them employable in our 21st-century job market.
Finally, the President announced new ways in which more veterans can use the post-9/11 GI Bill for solar jobs training. 

"I've said it before, and I think employers are starting to catch on, if you really want to get the job done, hire a veteran," President Obama said. More than 30 per cent of the federal workforce is now made up of veterans, and this new initiative will enable more veterans to use their GI Bill benefits to participate in job-driven training programs through local community colleges. This gives veterans across the country the opportunity to quickly learn the skills needed for good-paying jobs in the solar industry."

Earlier this year, the first class of Marines at Camp Pendleton graduated from the DoE's solar installer training program.

Other innovative solar installation training programs for veterans were also recently launched.

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Energy infrastructure  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity