Unique project aims to increase minority participation in solar & energy efficiency workforce
March 21, 2017 – Raleigh, N.C. – The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at N.C. State University, with support from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, is expanding its workforce development training to include Clean Energy Opportunity Diversity Scholarships for historically underrepresented applicants in eastern North Carolina. In cooperation with the Center for Energy Education, Halifax and Martin Community Colleges, the NCCETC will offer two week-long trainings in Halifax County for professional certification pathways in the renewable energy and energy efficiency fields. “We are pleased to offer 14 scholarships for eligible students to gain qualifications to help increase energy efficiency in homes and commercial buildings, and pursue employment in the solar energy arena,” stated NCCETC’s Executive Director, Steve Kalland. Through this project, NCCETC will aid in increasing diversity within the state’s clean energy sector. According to the Solar Foundation’s 2016 National Solar Jobs Census, African Americans represent only 6.6 percent of the solar workforce, the lowest of all groups. Further, North Carolina was ranked number two in the United States for the amount of installed solar energy, providing potential employment opportunity for scholarship recipients.
The scholarships will provide training to high school or equivalent graduates with strong math and science skills. Eligible applicants may apply for one or both 40-hour workshops. Fundamentals of Photovoltaic Design and Installation training will be offered July 17-21, and a Building Analyst training will be held September 25-29. The trainings will provide a mix of classroom and hands-on experience, and once training is complete, participants can earn a nationally recognized professional certification from the Building Performance Institute (BPI) and the NABCEP Associate designation from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
An advisory committee has been formed to help guide the NCCETC in developing the scholarship, recruiting eligible students, and assisting in identifying subsequent internships or employment. In addition to Halifax Community College (HCC), Martin Community College, and the Center for Energy Education, the committee includes representatives from Wilson Energy, Roanoke Electric Coop, Choanoke Area Development Association, the NC Justice Center and the NC Sustainable Energy Association. Recruitment from HCC will be supported through the P.R.I.D.E organization, a men’s mentoring program. An online application process will open on March 21th with scholarship announcements anticipated in the first week of June.
Click here for more information and to apply for the Clean Energy Opportunity Diversity scholarships.
Clean Energy Opportunity Diversity Scholarship locations of focus include: Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Edgecombe, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, Martin, Northampton, Pasquotank, PerQuimans, Pitt, Tyrrell, Washington, and Wilson counties.
About the NC Clean Energy Technology Center
The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University, advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices and policies. For more information about the Center, visit: http://www.nccleantech.ncsu.edu. Twitter: @NCCleanTech