Monday, January 8, 2018

Commonwealth Edison Awards Illinois Central College, Community Partners $1M to Launch Solar Technicians Training Program

Thanks to a $1 million grant from Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), Illinois Central College, along with more than 15 community organizations and businesses, will offer a program designed to build a workforce training program for solar technicians. ICC will serve as fiscal and lead agent for the Central Illinois Solar Workforce Pipeline Training Program, with Illinois People’s Action/Heaven’s View Community Development Corp. and Tri-County Urban League acting as key partners.

ComEd announced it selected four organizations to develop and conduct solar pipeline training programs through $3 million in grants funded by the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA). December 7 marked the one-year anniversary of the act. Along with Illinois Central College, the other recipients include OAI, Inc., Elevate Energy, and the Safer Foundation.

“ComEd is committed to helping grow renewable energy in Illinois and equally dedicated to developing the workforce of the future who will help integrate more clean energy like solar, into the Illinois energy grid,” said Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd President and CEO. “The training programs that will be created by the organizations announced today will ensure that the next generation of energy workers is prepared to take full advantage of the opportunities created by a new clean energy economy. We are excited to see this part of the FEJA take flight and look forward to working with these partners to ensure success of these job training programs.”

“ICC is thrilled to partner in this program, which aims to prime the technical solar workforce pipeline with qualified employees who can earn family-sustaining wages,” said Vice President of Diversity and Community Impact Dr. Rita Ali. “Beginning in February, we will begin training for approximately 120 students – that’s 30 students annually – over the four-year life of the grant.” 

After assessment, screening, and orientation, students who are admitted into the program will begin four weeks of soft skills and job readiness instruction and then will progress to five weeks of comprehensive solar technical training. This training also includes more than 58 hours of work-based learning opportunities at partnering businesses. Participants receive a weekly stipend of $10/hour while enrolled in the technical training component.

Participants will receive preparation for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Associate Certificate Exam. All technical training graduates will be connected with employers to facilitate job placement within the solar installer career field. All graduates who are not hired into the solar installer career field will be connected with employers to facilitate job placement within the solar industry or related career fields.

Applications for the program will become available January 16, 2018, on the ICC website at icc.edu/news. Ex-offenders (returning citizens), and former foster youth are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be 18 years of age with a high school diploma or equivalent.

For questions, call ICC at (309) 694-5-ICC.

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