Solar Training Academy

Gain hands-on solar installation experience through Solar Training Academy! 

The solar industry is growing, with solar representing one out of every 100 jobs created in the US in 2017 according to the Solar Jobs Census. More than half of the jobs are in construction. But as an emerging industry, employers still report having difficulty finding people with skills, experience, and certifications. Since 2017, GRID Colorado has addressed these concerns directly in its Solar Training Academy. With a combination of classroom and hands-on training, this program will provide hard skills, soft skills, industry-recognized certifications, networking and job readiness, and eligibility for solar employment upon program completion.

The Solar Training Academy is a blend of classroom learning, lab activities, and hands-on installation taking place over 2 weeks. Trainees will then work with GRID staff to get connected to opportunities within the solar, electrical, and construction industries. Trainees will earn a training stipend upon successful completion of the program.  Participants that complete the program will receive the following:

Solar and Construction Industry Certifications:

  • OSHA 10 (Valued at $250/person; Cost to trainee – FREE)
  • CPR/First Aid Certification (valued at $100/person; Cost to trainee - FREE)
  • GRID Alternatives Solar Training Academy (STA) certificate of completion 

Much of this training focuses on skills that are transferable to other sectors, including construction, electrical and mechanical trades.

Specific Skills and Training include:

  • Fall Protection
  • Job site, roof and electrical safety
  • Racking Installation
  • Mounting Installation
  • Microinverter Installation
  • Module Installation
  • Conduit Bending
  • Monitoring
  • Communication
  • Basic electrical layout and wiring (stripping wire, grounding and bonding, testing for voltage and current, etc.)
  • Hand-held and power-tool familiarity (tape measure, screwdrivers, wrench and torque-wrench, drill and impact driver, band saw, etc.)
  • Reading array layout, electrical one-line diagrams, roof and site plans
  • Soft skills, including professional conduct and personal reliability (working in a team, leading other team members, resume and cover-letter preparation)

GRID will provide follow-up support to connect individuals who complete the program with employment opportunities 

Employment Opportunities:

  • Solar positions with GRID partner employers (internships and permanent)
  • Solar Construction Internships with GRID ($16/hour for 6-12 weeks)
  • SolarCorps Construction Fellowship with GRID ($16/hr for 11+ months)

Program Dates:

  • Cohorts will be held in 2022. Exact dates are still being determined.

Want to apply?

Want to get involved? Fill out this online application to request a spot in the first Denver Solar Training Academy in 2022! You must be at least 18 years old, have a high school dipolma/GED, and earn 80% or below the average median income (based on household size). If accepted, we will notify trainees via email and/or phone call.

Do you have any questions about the program? Reach out to our Workforce Team:

April Valdez (720) 452-5605 avaldez@gridalternatives.org

Rosa Cleary (303) 968-1330  rcleary@gridalternatives.org

Thanks to our partners for making this program possible!

Interested in learning more about past Solar Training Academy outcomes?

In Fall 2019, GRID Colorado contracted with Lotus Engineering and Sustainability to write a white paper regarding the outcomes of GRID's Denver-based Solar Training Academy program from 2017 to 2019. This included research into the trends of solar jobs in Colorado and the United States, interviews with past trainees, and an anlysis of all past reporting and records. The full report can be found here. A brief sumary can be found here

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