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Two men working on solar panel instalation

Diversifying the solar workforce through inclusive apprenticeships

By Renewable Energy
This article is reprinted from Solar Power World with the permission of the editor. According to the United States Energy and Employment Report (USEER) 2021, much of the clean energy sector experienced job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the solar industry saw an 8% decline in jobs. In 2020, the industry began rebounding, bringing an influx of 560,000 jobs into the energy sector and a continued need for solar workers. As we turn the corner into 2022, experts anticipate continued growth in solar jobs. A recent study from the U.S. Department of Energy projects that the solar industry will employ between 500,000 and 1.5 million American workers by 2035. Though increasingly optimistic about the future outlook, many industry leaders face major hurdles to recruit and hire experienced candidates to fill the growing number of clean energy jobs. As outlined in the 2021 USEER report, 88% of companies in the electric power generation sector reported: “It was either somewhat difficult (69%) or very difficult (20%) to find new employees.” At the same time, the energy sector is “less diverse than the nation as a whole,” and employers are seeking ways to build diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible workplaces. Apprenticeship programs that are designed to...
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