Unlocking Clean Energy: Minority-Supporting Institutions Receive $5M DOE Grant

Hello there, solar enthusiasts! Today, let’s talk about some big news in the solar industry that affects everything from solar companies to the prospects of installing solar panels for your home. The announcement comes from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and MSI Stem R&D Consortium. The two agencies recently declared an investment of $5 million, aiming to foster education and training for students pursuing a career in clean energy and, you guessed it, our favorite industry — the solar industry!

This decision directly supports minority-serving universities, enhancing students’ skills crucial to succeed in solar and associated clean energy careers. Why? Because for as popular as the solar industry has become, finding qualified professionals to work for solar companies or support a solar array for home deployment can be a real task. According to a 2022 report by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), 44% of solar company employers found it “very difficult” to find ideal candidates, making it the highest difficulty rating ever recorded in the Solar Jobs Census.

However, with continued expansion in the solar arena – projections suggest U.S. solar installations will leap from 141 GW in 2022 to an astounding 700 GW by 2033 – the need for a skilled and diverse workforce is growing stronger each day. In fact, total solar jobs could hit 538,000 by 2032 if the industry keeps its current pace. Now, wouldn’t it be great if some of those jobs could be filled by the students benefiting from this funding?

Two established universities, Tennessee State University and The University of Texas at El Paso, are spotlighted to receive funding for their workforce development projects. Their unique programs aim not only to equip minority students with necessary baseline skills for entry-level positions in the clean energy sector, but also to inspire entrepreneurial spirit — the drive to increase minority-owned clean energy businesses.

While Tennessee State University’s development program plans to explore online training with in-person workshops in solar energy, The University of Texas at El Paso concentrates on joining forces to build the workforce development capacity in Texas, New Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

Funding like this is a crucial step towards building a diverse and qualified solar workforce, bridging the gap between supply and demand in solar companies. It’s also a catalyst for creating more solar-powered homes, contributing towards a cleaner future.

So, whether you’re considering establishing a solar company, seeking to install solar panels for your home, or exploring careers in the solar industry, these kinds of initiatives deliver fresh opportunities and open up exciting new horizons. Stay tuned for more solar news and tips, and until next time, keep powering on!

Original Articlehttps://pv-magazine-usa.com/2024/03/27/doe-awards-5-million-for-clean-energy-workforce-development-through-minority-supporting-institutions/

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