In partnership with esaSolar and GreenWorks Orlando, we have launched a solar installation job training pilot program (tentatively Brighter Future), a hands-on intensive training program focused on advancing Central Florida’s solar workforce of tomorrow.
On December 21st, 2018, eight young professionals from the Parramore Kidz Zone’s (PKZ) Youth Entrepreneurship Program and local universities installed a 7.85 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system on a residential home in Audubon Park, Orlando. With no experience required, participants gained an invaluable insight into how innovative business models, local clean energy policies and programs, and an engaged community can advance a local solar economy.
“Over the past decade, IDEAS has worked to educate, engage, and empower people through innovative environmental awareness solutions.” said Clayton Louis Ferrara, Executive Director of IDEAS. “By partnering with one of Central Florida’s leading solar energy companies, esaSolar, participants of the Brighter Future program will experientially learn the fundamental skills in how to conduct solar site surveys, perform energy analyses and install solar panels.”
With employment of solar photovoltaic installers expected to grow by 105% from 2016 to 2026, the U.S. Bureau of Statistics projects it as the fastest growing occupation in the U.S. economy . “The Florida solar industry is growing at a rapid pace, with local governments like the City of Orlando committing to ambitious renewable energy goals for our future. We firmly believe in IDEAS’ vision for a Brighter Future and the crucial role this program will play in the developing a well-trained and diverse solar workforce to meet this demand” said Lindsay Latre, Chief Executive Officer of esaSolar.
In September 2018, the City of Orlando published the 2018 Community Sustainability Action Plan which outlines the key priorities to continue making Orlando a more sustainable City, including the development
of a green jobs training program for students and veterans. “The Brighter Future program is rising to the challenge to inspire the next generation of solar installers here in Orlando.” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “This experience will give the PKZ youth leaders and university students a unique opportunity to experience solar technology first-hand in an industry that is expected to grow with the popularity of renewable energy and our recent commitments to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050.”