well-qualifed, highly skilled
installers and other industry-related professionals.
Solar jobs in the U.S. are
growing eight to ten times
faster than jobs in the overall economy, mostly due to
the falling costs of the technology and the extension of
tax credits available to help
fund projects. This winter
the industry announced that
there were more than 1 million solar installations in the
country today and in just two
years that number will double to 2 million.
Solar for Vets
One sector of the workforce
DOE hopes to boost is military veterans. As part of the
STEP program, the Solar
Foundation (TSF), known for
its National Solar Jobs Census, was awarded just shy
of $2 million to become the
national administrator for the
Solar Ready Vets program.
TSF will work with training institutions at ten military bases to train more than
2,500 transitioning military
service members and veterans for jobs in the solar energy industry. The program
allows exiting military personnel to pursue civilian job
training, employment skills
training, apprenticeships and
internships up to 6 months
prior to their separation date.
Oil and Gas Workers To Wind Installation Technicians
To meet the groundswell of demand from potential wind turbine technicians, one UK-based oil and gas training company is
now offering wind training courses that are Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) approved. HTL Training Services, based in Northumberland, announced in May that
it had begun offering the MJI 31 and MJI 32 Wind Turbine Bolted Connections Course, its frst dedicated training course for the
renewable energy industry.
“At the last rough count there were 79 million bolted connections
in the wind industry,” said Andy Elrod, Lead Technical Trainer.
He added: “And you’ve got this huge pool of manpower from the oil
and gas industry that have got a very, very high skill set…. who are
able to work in challenging, robust conditions. You’ve got a ready-
made workforce for the wind industry right there.”
Elrod, who came from the oil and gas sector, said that HTL
decided to offer a dedicated renewable energy course because of
demand. “We’re seeing a lot of interest in renewables now espe-
cially coming [from people who want] to do the more technical,
more specialist bolting solutions on a wind turbine,” he said.
Elrod said the MJI 31 and 32 for wind course is “aimed at new
Coal and Oil Workers to Solar Installers
entrants or people transferring skills.”
HTL Training Services’ entrance in the wind industry is a
clear refection of the momentum that renewables have in the
global market. “This was a natural progression,” said Fogerty.
According to Richard Lawrence, former Executive Director of
the North American Board of Certifed Energy Professionals
HTL Services, a traditional oil and gas training organization is now offering
a MJI 32 Wind Turbine Bolted Connections Course. Credit: HTL Services.