October 12, 2023

Pros and Cons of the Solar Workforce

Studies indicate that the solar industry faces challenges in hiring skilled employees, with about 85% of solar workers struggling to find qualified candidates. The primary reasons for this include a lack of relevant experience, education, and certifications. Solar training programs are often misaligned with industry needs due to insufficient communication with training providers. Additionally, solar companies underutilize public resources for recruitment, such as local workforce development boards and American Job Centers. A standardized model for internships and on-the-job training in the solar industry is lacking, despite the importance of such training for entry-level positions.

To address these issues, the federally-funded program, The Solar Foundation, offers a toolkit to bridge the workforce gap in the solar industry. Solutions include posting jobs on boards, community engagement, improved training and hiring practices, and raising awareness about the solar sector. Partnering with local workforce development systems can also enhance employee diversity and create a more inclusive industry.

Developing work-based learning programs can help attract and retain qualified employees and promote professional development. By providing internships, apprenticeships, and training opportunities, solar companies can increase the industry's appeal and offer clear career pathways. The goal is to build a stronger and more diverse solar workforce that provides high-quality jobs for people of all backgrounds and education levels.

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