Midwest Renewable Energy Association extends solar technical training scholarship into second year

In its second year, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) and its partners will remain committed to solar technical training and workforce development for underserved Midwestern communities.

MREA held in-person solar training in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in April 2021, with students selected in conjunction with Walnut Way Conservation Corp. The training was one of four held in the past year as part of MREA’s Rise Up Scholarship program.

Started in 2020, the Rise Up Scholarship Program supports solar workforce development efforts and increases access to employment by providing students with training scholarships in solar design and installation. Scholarship recipients will receive free entry-level training with the opportunity to earn the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Associate credential. Recipients are encouraged to apply for paid solar internships after training.

“It is important to have this scholarship available to prospective students because it really opens the door for students of color like me to learn to implement and advance MREA’s mission to use clean energy solutions in our families, communities and neighborhoods,” says Joshua Otusafo, a 2020 Rise Up Scholarship recipient.

Since its inception in 1990, MREA has fought for market rules and investments that increase taxpayers’ access to energy efficiency and clean energy. Over the past five years, MREA has increasingly focused on ensuring that investment and opportunities are brought to communities that need them most.

“A just energy transition should be a priority for economic development in Midwestern states,” said Nick Hylla, executive director of MREA. “The Rise Up Scholarships are a small step to ensure that clean energy investments create jobs where they are needed, and that the benefits of local clean energy investments do not spill over into areas of persistent underemployment and historically low participation in energy programs. efficiency and clean energy.”

MREA’s Rise Up partner organizations in Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin are: the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program of Evansville, Indiana; Renewable Energy Partners of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Solararity of Highland Park, Michigan; and Walnut Way Conservation Corps of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. MREA coordinates with each partner to provide introductory information about the training program and career opportunities in the solar industry. The partners recruit training participants and work with MREA to support their success.

The MREA raised more than $30,000 in private donations for the program in 2020. MREA used the money to organize four training sessions in three Midwestern cities for 37 students. MREA is currently over half of this year’s fundraising goal of $30,000.

With a focus on vocational training and career placement in solar, the MREA and its partners are advancing efforts to support local jobs and local investment in Midwestern communities. To learn more about the program or to make a donation, visit midwestrenew.org/riseupgiving.

News item from MREA

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