Ecotech Institute students help families save money

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April 20, 2016

Solar Energy Technology at Ecotech Institute

Last September, Ecotech Institute sent Zerosun Creative's film crew to Fort Morgan, Colorado, to film Ecotech students in training installing solar on the Sol Naciente affordable housing project. Ecotech Institute in Aurora, Colorado, is the first and only college entirely focused on preparing graduates for careers in energy with hands-on training in solar, wind, power utility and more. On a brilliant autumn day last year, Ecotech students joined volunteers from the community, Team Leaders, and volunteers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to help bring solar to 50 low-income families in the agricultural industry.

Ecotech Institute's film about their solar program depicts trainees getting professional, hands-on experience with GRID as part of our job training partnership. 

Since 2013, Ecotech Institute and GRID Alternatives Colorado have enjoyed a strong relationship, with Ecotech students gaining more than 1700 hours of job training on GRID sites. GRID staff Bilal Qassem was an Ecotech student when he was first introduced to GRID Alternatives. “When I got into GRID, I liked it, because I was looking for something similar to GRID, to help no-income families - zero-income families. With other companies, you just pick up your tools and materials and go, you just get the objective done. With GRID, we’re trying to have fun on the install, educate people on solar energy, travel and meet new people in the field.” While working on his degree, Bilal was inspired to become a Team Leader with GRID and volunteered more than 180 hours to achieve that goal. Since graduating from Ecotech Institute, Bilal was hired as GRID’s Construction Assistant and has been an invaluable member of our team ever since. We are proud to serve the many hard-working students from Ecotech Institute's solar program who go the extra mile to train with us on their path to a new career in the solar industry. 
 
Ecotech Institute's all-time impacts:
kW installed: 140 (DC)
Families served: 68
Lifetime savings: $1,113,000
Tons of greenhouse gases eliminated: 5,303
Equivalent of trees planted: 124,000

Many thanks to the dedicated, passionate instructors and administrators at Ecotech Institute for making this partnership possible!

Job training partners seeking to learn more about GRID Alternatives' training opportunities can reach out to Workforce Development Manager Allison Moe at amoe@gridalternatives.org or (303) 481-4384.