Project Name: Expanding the Solar Workforce through the Illinois Community College System
Funding Opportunity: Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Program (SETO FY2018)
SETO Subprogram: Soft Costs
Location: Godfrey, Illinois
DOE Award Amount: $1.3 million
Awardee Cost Share: N/A
Planned Timeline: 2019-2022
-- Award and cost share amounts are subject to change pending negotiations --
This project will support the Illinois Green Economy Network, based at Lewis and Clark Community College, to expand the solar workforce in Illinois through a comprehensive, statewide strategy that connects job seekers, industry, and local communities with education and training providers. The project will build upon solar-related courses and programs at Illinois community colleges and improve them through credentialing, curriculum and instructional design, and industry partnerships. The project will also leverage and increase the diversity of skilled solar workers.
This project will create, expand, and update solar-related courses, programs, and training methods and materials at Illinois community colleges through new recruitment channels, fostering relationships with businesses and industry, and enhanced career services. The team will ensure that nationally recognized certifications, credentials, industry standards, and licensure are embedded. This project will result in additional capacity for the Illinois Green Economy Network to engage businesses throughout the state. This includes an advisory group as part of a business engagement initiative, as well as a resource-sharing platform.
Community colleges are the main provider of higher education, technical training, and workforce preparation in Illinois. This project is focused on outreach and recruitment, training and retention, and job placement, support, and upgrades. Individuals from diverse communities and populations with solar workforce skills will receive training through this project and then become part of the pool of local talent for solar businesses. Targeted education and training programs will lead to higher education rates and employment retention rates, better quality of applicants, and greater employee engagement.