on Inclusive

Creating a diverse and inclusive workforce through apprenticeship 

clean energy icons and dollar symbolClean Energy Spotlight

Celebrate National Clean Energy Week September 20-24th

Increasing Access to Clean Energy Careers for People with Disabilities

What is PIA?

PIA collaborates with employers and apprenticeship intermediary organizations (AIOs) to design inclusive apprenticeship programs that meet employer talent needs and enable people with disabilities to gain credentials and skills to succeed in growing industries. Learn more about PIA.

Taking apprenticeships to the next level

Apprenticeship programs help employers train their future workforce and enable individuals to gain paid work experience and training. The Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship (PIA) helps design diverse and inclusive apprenticeship programs that are accessible to all.

Benefits of inclusive apprenticeships

  • Inclusive apprenticeships help employers build a diverse and inclusive workforce of trained professionals, and employers that invest in hiring persons with disabilities receive financial benefits.
  • Inclusive apprenticeship programs create employment opportunities for people with cognitive, physical, mental health, and sensory disabilities.
  • People with disabilities enrolled in inclusive apprenticeship programs earn money while they gain on-the-job training and life-long skills to succeed in high growth, high demand fields.
  • AIOs focused on diversity and inclusion can reach underserved populations and create career pathways for people with disabilities in the current and future workplace.
  • Employers can benefit from hiring people with disabilities through increased revenue, greater retention, attraction of a more diverse customer base, and a more inclusive and accessible workplace culture.

Employers who champion disability inclusion earn 28% higher revenue.

View Report (PDF)

Why now?

There’s a wealth of untapped talent

Inclusive apprenticeship programs can drive career pathways for youth and adults with disabilities in growing industries including clean energy, healthcare, IT, cybersecurity, and more.

Employers seek skilled workers

Recruiters are concerned about finding quality talent (PDF). Inclusive apprenticeship programs can bring a wealth of untapped talent to fill critical positions.

Diversity and inclusion
(D&I) is a priority

Organizations are investing in D&I. Inclusive apprenticeships can help employers build a more inclusive workplace and adhere to regulations related to hiring diverse employees, including those with disabilities.

Telework is

Telework offers opportunities to attract untapped talent. Inclusive apprenticeships help employers identify a new pool of candidates and understand the accessibility needs of employees.


#ApprenticeshipWorks Guide for Individuals (PDF)

A guide for individuals with disabilities from U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) offers youth with disabilities an overview on pursuing inclusive career paths through apprenticeship. Read more.

Effective Employer Engagement Practices: Observations from Select Technology Apprenticeship Programs (PDF)

Based on interviews with program implementers, this report from Jobs for the Future provides recommendations on effective practices to engage employers in tech-centered apprenticeship programs. Read more.

View more resources


Building Workforce Talent for the Clean Energy Sector through Apprenticeship

Episode 8: Richard Lawrence and Megan Howes of IREC (the Interstate Renewable Energy Council)

Richard LawrenceMegan HowesRichard Lawrence and Megan Howes of IREC (the Interstate Renewable Energy Council) discuss how the development of inclusive apprenticeship programs will enable the rapidly growing clean energy sector to meet its demand for skilled talent.

Listen to the podcast and read the transcript


Webinar – Inclusive Apprenticeships: Shaping Your Community’s Workforce

Communities across the country are turning to apprenticeship programs to build a skilled workforce. When these programs are designed to be inclusive, they can support your local organizations as they build more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible workplaces.

Read the webinar transcript

lightbulv in converation bubblePerspectives on Apprenticeship – What Employers Should Know About Inclusive Apprenticeships

Are you an employer seeking to create a pipeline of diverse, untapped talent? Read PIA’s newest resource – Perspectives on Apprenticeship: What Employers Should Know About the Value of Inclusive Apprenticeship Programs. We developed this resource to help employers better understand the value of creating inclusive apprenticeships, specifically for people with disabilities, to meet their organizations’ unique talent needs.

Go to the Resource

leaf and power outletInclusion in the Clean Energy Sector

  • Clean energy is energy generated from renewable resources or energy saved by more efficient energy-producing systems. Most renewable energy sources are from solar, wind, water, or geothermal.
  • In 2020 there were more than 3 million jobs in the clean energy sector, including positions in industries such as solar, electric vehicle manufacturing, and energy efficiency. Yet, employers struggle to find skilled candidates for these positions.
  • Inclusive apprenticeship programs can build a pipeline of diverse, untapped talent to fill a broad range of jobs in this growing sector.
  • Apprentices with disabilities can enter into a career as a Commercial Building Code Inspector, a Solar Marketing Specialist, an Energy Systems Engineer, and more.

clean energy icons and dollar symbolFunding Inclusive Clean Energy Apprenticeships

  • Creating apprenticeship programs can be a low-cost way to build a pipeline of skilled workers. (Learn more about the key benefits that inclusive apprenticeships offer employers and people with disabilities.)
  • Many states offer funding that can aid in the development of inclusive programs, providing financial support for clean energy workforce development, apprenticeship training, and/or job creation for people with disabilities.
  • There are a variety of funding opportunities to assist in creating more inclusive training for jobs in the clean energy sector. Some examples of state funding include:


Read these additional resources for more information on apprenticeships and inclusive apprenticeships, opportunities in the clean energy sector, and more.

Hiring and Retaining Apprentices with Disabilities provides information and resources on the basics of apprentices, hiring and retaining apprentices with disabilities, and the apprenticeship Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations that support inclusive workplaces. Resources are also available on potential career paths to pursue through apprenticeship and case studies targeted toward employers on the benefits of apprenticeships.

Read More

Clean Jobs America 2020: Repowering America’s Economy in the Wake of COVID-19

The E2 summary and breakdown of Clean Jobs data from the United States Energy Employment Report (USEER) for 2020. This report details the sheer size of this important employment sector, the troubles it is currently facing due to COVID-19, and how focusing recovery policies on clean energy can get America’s economy humming again—quickly and for the long run.

Read More

The Solar Career Map

Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)’s Solar Career Map displays the variety of jobs and skills needed within the solar workforce.

Read More

Advancing Inclusion Through Clean Energy Jobs

With the push for “green jobs,” this analysis by the Brookings Institute is designed to help energy-sector professionals, state and local policymakers, regional education and training sector leaders, and community organizations get a clearer look at the nature, needs, and opportunities associated with the future clean energy workforce. This analysis explores the extent to which such occupations will offer inclusive pathways to economic opportunity.

Read More

Page 1 of 1