The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) will serve as the National Administrator for the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN) to help ensure the development of a robust national solar training infrastructure that can meet the employment needs of a rapidly growing domestic solar industry. IREC will receive up to $4.5 million of funding over five years to administer the program. Through the work of SITN, DOE expects more than 1,400 instructors will be trained across the nation, creating the capacity to train thousands of workers for the solar installation industry.

DOE selected the IREC to serve as the national point of contact for SITN, conducting outreach to disseminate its products and best practices recommendations. It will manage SITN’s collaboration, coordinate its joint activities, and work with a broad set of stakeholders to prioritize and address issues related to solar training.

SITN was launched with $10 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding in October 2009 to address a critical need for high-quality, local, and accessible training in solar system design, installation, sales, and inspection. The network includes nine Regional Training Providers (click here to see Map) that extend coverage to the entire United States. The Regional Training Providers support the professional development of instructors who provide instruction on solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar heating and cooling installations. SITN will also collaborate and develop national curricula, sponsor workshops, create replicable training models for local instructors, and develop best practices.

This initiative highlights DOE’s commitment to promote widespread adoption of solar energy and create new jobs by improving the quality and availability of solar training efforts across the United States. DOE aims to expand the nation’s training solar workforce and empower regions across the country to integrate solar energy into their communities.

For more information, visit the Solar Instructor Training Network web page at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/instructor_training_network.html.

Shocking Stat of the Month

31

Number of states in the nation with a projected 2011 budget shortfall of at least 10%.

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities