Building the workforce with Solar 101 online learning


The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is launching The SEIA Online Learning Center, an online platform that provides comprehensive educational programming for companies, clean energy professionals and people looking to join the solar and storage industry. Part of the Learning Center is SEIA’s flagship Solar 101, an online training program.

In order to reach SEIA’s Solar+ Decade target of solar making up 30% of all U.S. electricity generation by 2030, SEIA estimates that the solar and storage industries will need an estimated 800,000 new workers for a total workforce of more than 1 million workers. Solar 101 is intended to serve as a tool to help ensure that the industry can meet its workforce needs by providing educational resources online, directly to individual workers.

Solar 101 is open to SEIA members and non-members. The program is made up of nearly 30 lessons across 11 topics and the lessons range from introductions to solar terminology and market segments to policy overviews and more detailed technical training.

“The solar and storage workforce is not going to grow to one million Americans by 2030 on its own, so there was a clear need for SEIA to step up with tools to help companies address mounting workforce development challenges,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA president and CEO. “Solar 101 will equip this generation of energy workers with the knowledge they need to grow the clean energy economy and capitalize on an unprecedented window of policy certainty.”

Solar 101 is designed for newcomers to solar as well as those with extensive experience looking to expand their skills. The program includes 30 short modules in 5- to 10-minute video format that contain valuable expert insight into a variety of areas including topics such as solar technology, market segmentation, transmission, project development, permitting, and more. SEIA is offering discounts for Solar 101 to SEIA members, students, and other critical stakeholders to be announced at a later date. SEIA will continue to add more advanced content to provide value to users as they work through the program, including industry-specific topics like consumer protection and solar recycling.

The SEIA Online Learning Center also gives members can access archived webinar content and SEIA’s diversity, equity, inclusion and justice certification program.

“We have a responsibility as an industry leader to provide resources that welcome a diverse group of people into the solar and storage family,” said SEIA vice president of equity and workforce development Erika Symmonds. “This new platform builds a bridge into one of America’s fastest-growing industries, and SEIA is committed to making sure that training and other wealth-building opportunities are accessible to communities of all backgrounds.”

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