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St. Louis Begins Recruitment For A New Green Jobs Training Apprenticeship Called ‘The Solar Workforce Development Pilot’ - IBEW-NECA Solar Professionals Will Provide Technical Instruction & In-The-Field Training

Published Tuesday, November 17, 2020
by Stefan Schaffer/NRDC.org
St. Louis Begins Recruitment For A New Green Jobs Training Apprenticeship Called ‘The Solar Workforce Development Pilot’ - IBEW-NECA Solar Professionals Will Provide Technical Instruction & In-The-Field Training

(ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI) - St. Louis began leading the charge on climate action in the Midwest when it created its Sustainability Plan in 2013.  Since then, under the leadership of Mayor Lyda Krewson, the city has moved from strength to strength: A bench-marking ordinance in 2017; Adoption of the International Energy Conservation Code in 2018; A Solar Readiness Standard for new buildings in 2019; and a Building Energy Performance Standard that just passed in May 2020, making St. Louis the first among Midwest cities to do so.

The city’s latest climate protection initiative takes sustainability and equity to the next level.

St. Louis has now begun recruitment for a new Green Jobs Training Apprenticeship called the Solar Workforce Development Pilot, a paid program that will provide the suite of skills, services and training needed for participants to get a job in solar array installation.

“We saw the ‘majority of such jobs were not being held by St. Louis residents and we wanted to make sure they could participate in the region’s growing green economy,’” Catherine Werner, the city’s Sustainability Director, said.

Mayor Krewson said: “It is an ‘innovative way for us to make strides with the city’s ambitious climate protection goals while advancing diversity and equity in the workforce at the same time.’”

This multi-faceted approach is what keeps the pioneering Gateway City at the forefront of sustainability.

Developed with support from the Energy Foundation and Inclusive Economics through the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge, the pilot program is a deep collaboration between St. Louis community partners with expertise in the solar industry and in workforce development.

Solar Professionals from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and National Electrical Contractors Association (IBEW-NECA) will provide technical instruction and in-the-field training.

At the same timeEmployment Connection of St. LouisSt. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE), and Building Union Diversity (BUD) will work together to prepare participants with OSHA (U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration) Training and job readiness.

This may include assessing participants’ fitness for a particular position while improving their interview skills, along with various other soft and hard skills for employment success.

Each pilot cohort participant will receive a $1,000 stipend for participating in the solar training program.

“We ‘have the jobs, and we have people who need the jobs, so this Apprenticeship Program is a way to try to bridge that gap,’” Werner said.

While the main objective is to place graduates into paid jobs or entry-level positions, the program is also focused on giving underserved St. Louis residents equitable access to careers in the renewable energy sector.

“This paid training program ‘will introduce’ minority groups ‘to opportunities in the fields of Green Technology and the Electrical Trades,’” says Sal Martinez, CEO of Employment Connection, which will oversee and coordinate the program.

To Read This Apprenticeship And Training Labor News Story In Its Entirety, Go To: www.nrdc.org/experts/stefan-schaffer/st-louis-centers-equity-innovative-green-job-training

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