California Solar Training: San Fran

Boots on the Roof

Part three of our on-going solarinstallation course series lands us in the Bay Area, home to Silicon Valley, the Golden Gate Bridge and a number of the best solarinstallation courses in the country.

Last summer, Oakland, Santa ClaraCounty and San Francisco made a regional pact to battle greenhousegases. To meet the demand for green jobs in the area, one of theoutcomes of the deal was a major push for solar installation training.

A relatively new program from Unitek Education, a regional educationcompany, Boots on the Roof offers an array of renewable energy classes. Based in Fremont, Calif.,in the South Bay Area, the company offers ten courses in four differentcategories of training: Renewable energy certificate programs; Renewable energy boot camps (for those students starting from zero and wanting to advance quickly); Renewable energy online courses; and Green buildingcourses. Here are two of their more detailed sessions:

The master certification course is suited for people who are serious aboutlearning the ins and outs of the entire renewable energy industry, fromsolar thermal, to photovoltaics (PV), to wind energy. Students learn the basics on how to install systems. But the course also provide exposureto the business aspect of the field. The program includes job placementand other career services to students who have completed the course.

The six-day PV boot camp is a crash course that still manages to impart a variety of skills onits students. The boot camp is a mixture of hands-on training labs,instructor light-emitting diode (LED) training and exposure to computertools needed to complete the job. The course moves rapidly from PVtheories, to application, to design and finally to installation. It’s awell-rounded speed session for those anxious to launch their solarcareer.

In Richmond, California, Solar Richmond has been training locals in solar installation andassisting in job placement since 2006. The aim of this non-profit? Tobring low-income residents into “green-collar” jobs. They aim to combatunemployment and poverty in their community while helping Californiameet the demand for solar installation services.

The 14-week program includes a partnership with RichmondBUILD for seven weeks of pre-apprenticeship construction and three weeks ofenergy efficiency training. Solar Richmond has connections with severalinstallation companies in the area; upon completion of their course,they may help place students depending on the companies’ staffing needs.

Since the beginning of the program, Richmond has installed over 5megawatts of solar electric power. This year, Solar Richmond wants their trainees to install 50 systems on low-income Richmond homes and create100 new jobs.

Read more about California solar energy training courses:

California Solar Training: San Francisco Bay Area

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