May 2021
The IREC team is pleased to share a number of exciting developments this month, including the launch of a new project to increase familiarity with solar and other clean energy technologies among safety and building professionals, new employment data from the Solar Jobs Census, a webinar about the Green Buildings Career Map, and more! Read on for the details.


New Project Will Provide Training on Distributed Energy Technologies for Building, Safety Officials

Building, fire, and safety officials play a critical role in enabling the safe, widespread, and rapid deployment of new technologies that make the grid more sustainable and resilient. IREC and partners have launched a three-year, $2.1 million project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), to reduce barriers to widespread adoption of distributed energy resources by providing education and resources to expand the knowledge of 30,000 safety professionals. 

National Solar Jobs Census Shows Solar Jobs Supported 231,000 Families in 2020

The U.S. solar industry employed 231,474 workers in 2020, a 6.7% drop from 2019 due to pandemic restrictions and increased labor productivity, according to the National Solar Jobs Census 2020 jointly released by The Solar Foundation, IREC, SEIA, and BW Research. Representation among women and minority demographic groups has improved significantly since 2015, including a 39% increase for women, 92% increase for Hispanic or Latino workers, 18% increase for Asian American and Pacific Islander workers, and a 73% increase for Black or African American workers.

The Solar Foundation will merge with IREC this summer. Stay tuned for more updates.

Tune In to the Green Buildings Career Map Webinar On Demand

Did you miss the recent Green Buildings Career Map Webinar? Tune in to our recording at your convenience to hear from the creators of the Map on how to use it, how it can best suit your goals, and the exploding opportunities in the green buildings and energy efficiency industry.

The Value of Credentialing
for Workforce Training Programs

Defining a qualified worker looks very different today from just 20 years ago. The primacy of a traditional four-year college degree for a number of job roles is changing, and other forms of competency validation are creating new pathways to prosperity and rewarding careers. In this blog post, IREC Director of Credentialing Anna Sullivan explores the value that training program accreditation, instructor certification, and micro-credentials offer to industry players, from workers weighing different training options, to employers assessing candidates' qualifications. 

SolSmart Reaches New Milestone
with 400 Designees

The SolSmart program has reached an exciting new milestone: Over 400 municipalities, counties, and regional organizations have achieved designation—meaning they have reduced obstacles to solar energy, expanded local knowledge, and increased solar deployment in their communities. SolSmart communities can be found in 41 states, DC, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, representing a total of 99 million people. 

Read a brand new blog post from the director of SolSmart on how the program helps communities increase local solar energy here​​​!

DOE Launches Initiatives to Accelerate Solar Deployment in Underserved Communities

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office issued two requests for information to encourage stakeholders to share their ideas on how to enable rapid community solar deployment for low- and moderate-income communities and develop a diverse and skilled clean energy workforce. 

Submit your responses by June 1 at 5 p.m. ET.
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About IREC: The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) builds the foundation for rapid adoption of clean energy and energy efficiency, toward a 100% clean energy future that is reliable, resilient and equitable. IREC is an independent not-for-profit organization leading transformational work since 1982.
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