branded graphic for the Solar Energy Technology Office "Advancing Equity through Workforce Partnerships" funding opportunity.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) Fiscal Year 2022 Advancing Equity Through Workforce Partnerships is a $13.5 million funding program for the development of collaborative workforce programs. The program facilitates the rapid deployment of solar energy technologies while supporting an inclusive workforce with opportunities for union membership. This work, partly funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will enable more members of disadvantaged communities and energy justice populations to pursue careers in the solar energy industry.

The funding opportunity was announced on July 27, 2022. DOE announced the selection of 12 projects on June 13, 2023. 


According to the 2023 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, the solar industry employs over 346,000 people and added over 12,000 new jobs in 2022. The report also found that while the solar industry is more diverse than some other energy industries, the overall energy workforce lags in Hispanic (18%), Black (9%), Asian (8%), and Indigenous worker (2%) representation. With solar power potentially contributing up to one third of the U.S. electricity supply, there is a need for more equity and inclusivity in the industry. DOE is working to ensure that the solar workforce of the future is equitable, inclusive, and benefits all Americans, particularly disadvantaged communities. The projects in this funding program are demand-driven, worker-centric, leverage existing infrastructure and resources, are sustainable and replicable, and prioritize energy justice issues.

Areas of interest include:

  • Apprenticeship readiness (pre-apprenticeship) or apprenticeship partnerships
  • Community-led training partnerships
  • Clean energy sector partnerships


This funding program supports the government-wide approach to addressing the climate crisis and maximizing the benefits of the clean energy transition by empowering workers and advancing environmental justice, which will help achieve a decarbonized electricity sector by 2035.


-- Award and cost share amounts are rounded and subject to change pending negotiations --

Adaptive Construction Solutions

Location: Houston, TX
DOE Award Amount: $1,100,000
Awardee Cost Share: $0
Principal Investigator: Carlos Pulido
Project Description: This project is developing a pre-apprenticeship program in Texas to recruit, train, and retain a diverse workforce in construction trades needed by utility-scale solar energy projects.  The pre-apprenticeship program will link directly with the Department of Labor approved Registered Apprenticeship Programs, sponsored by partner employers. The program will lead to increased employment in rural areas throughout Texas, clearer pathways to family sustaining jobs, transferable skills and certifications, work experience, as well as safer working practices.

Amicus O&M Cooperative

Location: Boulder, CO
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Awardee Cost Share: $150,000
Principal Investigator: Amanda Bybee
Project Description: This project will expand training and certification tracks for solar operations and maintenance (O&M) professionals in partnership with Solar Energy International (SEI), North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), Independent Electrical Contractors Rocky Mountain (IECRM), Entity Academy, and Black Owners of Solar Services (BOSS). Working with a breadth of industry stakeholders, the project will standardize O&M technician competency frameworks; establish training program standards; build an expanded O&M training program; and create a pipeline of workers from disadvantaged communities. The end result will be to place newly trained workers in jobs and increase equity, safety, and professional quality in the solar O&M workforce.

CEC Stuyvesant (DBA Solar One)

Location: New York, NY
DOE Award Amount: $750,000
Awardee Cost Share: $0
Principal Investigator: Sarah Pidgeon
Project Description: This project seeks to update and strengthen solar curriculum in pre-apprenticeship, workforce training, community college, and high school career and technical education programs through partnerships with these schools. The project team will build connections between workforce agencies and solar companies to create advancement pathways for entry-level workers and develop resources to increase minority- and women-owned business enterprise participation in New York City and Newark, NJ.

Cook County, Illinois

Location: Chicago, IL
DOE Award Amount: $1,100,000
Awardee Cost Share: $75,000
Principal Investigator: Irene Sherr
Project Description: This project aims to establish the Chicagoland Solar Collaborative to convene, align, and leverage the diverse stakeholders in the solar installation, small business and workforce ecosystems. The Collective will work to improve access to and strengthen workforce training pipelines, to align with local solar industry demand, while centering on quality jobs. The Collective will also support growth of solar installation businesses owned by representatives of historically excluded communities with available business advising and capital resources.  

Crater Lake Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Center

Location: Central Point, OR
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Awardee Cost Share: $0
Principal Investigator: Lance Corely
Project Description: In partnership with the Oregon Pacific-Cascade Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association/International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Locals 659 (NECA/IBEW), this project is developing a union-based electrician pre-apprenticeship course for high school students in underserved rural and tribal communities in Southern Oregon and Utah. The course will use a mobile educational unit that will allow instructors to bring resources for hands-on learning opportunities directly to high school students in rural and underserved communities, ensuring all participants are afforded an equitable learning opportunity.

Emerald Cities Collaborative 

Location: Seattle, WA
DOE Award Amount: $725,000
Awardee Cost Share: $0
Principal Investigator: Winnie Wakaba
Project Description: In partnership with union-led training centers, this project is developing solar installer trainings and union-based electrical pre-apprenticeship programs in the state of Washington for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. It will provide entry-level employment for apprentice candidates and pilot pathways to solar installer positions that can provide living wage employment and relevant work experience as students prepare for apprenticeships and other training. 

Kern Community College District

Location: Bakersfield, CA
DOE Award Amount: $1,000,000
Awardee Cost Share: $200,000 
Principal Investigator: David Teasdale
Project Description: This project is developing solar installation career-track training and electrical apprenticeship readiness training. The program will offer opportunities for union membership through the pre-apprenticeship program, as well as career-track business development training, accessibility-focused outreach and recruitment, and enhanced entrepreneurship opportunities in solar energy technology for participants from disadvantaged communities in California’s Central Valley.

Power52 Foundation

Location: Columbia, MD
DOE Award Amount: $1,400,000
Awardee Cost Share: $85,000 
Principal Investigator: Cherie Brooks
Project Description: This project is developing a partnership model with local employers and community partners to expand access to solar training, career pathways, and quality jobs for individuals in disadvantaged communities. The team aims to scale Power52’s existing   solar energy training program to three new sites around Baltimore, Maryland.

Red Cloud Renewable

Location: Pine Ridge, SD
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Awardee Cost Share: $0
Principal Investigator: John Red Cloud
Project Description: This project aims to increase recruitment, training, and career placement in the solar workforce through Red Cloud Renewable’s apprenticeship readiness program that provides family-centric services and in-person training to place Native American women in careers in the solar workforce across the country.

Solar Landscape

Location: Asbury Park, NJ
DOE Award Amount: $850,000
Awardee Cost Share: $800,000 
Principal Investigator: Todd Menadier
Project Description: Led by industry professionals, this project is partnering with community-based organizations, vocational training facilities, and corporate partners to provide quality training programs in commercial solar installation in New Mexico, Maryland, Colorado, and other states. The program will offer virtual courses, hands-on roofing and solar installation training, train-the-trainer opportunities, scholarships, and other workforce development opportunities in states with growing community solar markets.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Location: Lafayette, LA
DOE Award Amount: $1,000,000
Awardee Cost Share: $2,200,000 
Principal Investigator: Terrence Chambers
Project Description: This project is working to create the Louisiana Solar Corps, a statewide solar workforce training and apprenticeship program that simultaneously addresses the issues of climate resilience, clean energy transition, and energy justice. The project team is developing an open-source curricula for solar training courses to establish eight new degree programs at five community colleges and four universities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, that are geographically distributed across the state.


Location: Portland, OR
DOE Award Amount: $1,000,000
Awardee Cost Share: $0
Principal Investigator: Kelly Haines
Project Description: In partnership with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)/International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Oregon Solar Energy Education Foundation, this project is developing training and job placement resources for diverse jobseekers to enter quality jobs in solar installation and related occupations, including union electrical careers across the Portland metro region. The training resources will be delivered through apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships, and on-the-job training agreements.

Learn more about the Solar Energy Technologies Office’s solar workforce development researchfunding programs, and open funding opportunities.