Florida, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Ensuring that Americans are being trained to move into the renewable energy workforce is a major hurdle for the industry in today’s sagging economy. In order to help advance the knowledge of those in the field training this new workforce, the Department of Energy’s Solar America Cities partnership held a training session at the Florida Solar Energy Center for 18 representatives from 8 cities last month.
The goal of the five days of training was to prepare these trainers to go back to their individual cities and help usher in the new green workforce. Some of the individuals will go back and conduct training within their city that helps working-class job seekers learn a new trade; others will work with independent training organizations to host seminars on becoming solar installers.
By bringing representatives from the Solar America Cities to the training, the Department of Energy (DOE) says that it is using these cities to spread the knowledge throughout their communities and to engage their citizens and their workforce in a dialog about the transition toward a renewable energy economy.
Part of this dialog will be facilitated by US $10.5 million that the DOE has made available to increase the ability of local governments to accelerate solar energy adoption and workforce development. Through this funding opportunity, DOE is looking to provide local government stakeholders, including mayors and city council members, county officials, environmental staff and planners with guides, case studies and tool kits that the Solar America Cities program DOE has developed, to assist local governments in promoting solar energy.
Applications are due by October 15, 2009, and DOE anticipates announcing selections no later than December 15, 2009. For information on the FOA, click here.
To hear more from the training programs organizers as well as some of the city representatives who attended the event, play the video below.