What Happens When 30 IBT Instructors Gather Together?

"It takes a village" and "teamwork makes the dream work" are a few expressions we often hear around our GRID offices. This could not be more true when it comes to GRID Alternatives' Installation Basics Training (IBT) program, which aims to build a diverse solar workforce through offering no-cost solar installation training over the course of several weeks. 

At the end of December, 30 of GRID's IBT instructors gathered in Fresno, CA for the first ever IBT Instructors Summit. Our trainers traveled far and wide, from across the U.S and Latin America, to attend this important summit. Over the course of three days, our brilliant instructors exchanged ideas, learned from each other's challenges, and celebrated successes to gather new skills that will equip them as they continue elevating our IBT program curriculum.

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Key takeaways from the summit are centered around the exciting future of workforce development. With our IBT 200 program, we're pursuing IREC (Interstate Renewable Energy Council) accreditation to ensure we have the standards and quality needed to continue building the best training possible. With our IBT 120 curriculum, we're excited to meet the current demands of legislation, such as the Inflation Reduction Act. With this model, we'll have the opportunity to develop new relationships with partners from all across the country. 

This is the first year that our instructors were able to gather at this event. Some came with trepidation, and others with uncontained excitement. The common denominator, though, was that everyone was glad they attended. Smiles and laughter abounded during our "Train the Trainer" session as our instructors spent all morning bending conduit and trading stories. The Trauma-Informed Training workshop was also notable for sparking difficult and important conversations around adaptive learning. Creating and holding space for staff to contemplate their personal hurts, habits, and hang-ups was a game changer. As our instructors shared meals and stories, casual small talk eased into deeper discussions to build bonds that will last a lifetime. 

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Our IBT instructors are the ones who are molding the next generation of individuals who will advocate for an equitable and clean energy transition. Thank you to everyone who attended this year's IBT Instructor Summit and we can't wait to see you all next year!