International Solar Workforce Development

IBT Hands Up Nica
Solarize your spring break! Come soak up some rays on your spring break while learning to install solar and providing clean, renewable energy to communities with limited energy access in Nepal, Mexico or Nicaragua.

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GRID Alternatives’ solar workforce training program, called Installation Basics Training (IBT), is a competency-based certificate program designed to develop the skills that are most relevant to entry-level solar installation jobs and related construction employment fields. IBT trains students to be job-ready for entry-level solar installation positions and helps job trainees launch their solar careers by graduating with advanced solar knowledge, hands-on installation experience, and valuable employer connections.  GRID instructors are industry experts and know what employers need so graduates of the training program will be ready to work in an entry-level solar installation position on day one.  

 Learn about our training program in Puerto Rico

Learn about our training program in Nicaragua


What Students Learn 

The curriculum includes extensive training in safety, construction basics, electricity basics, array installation, commissioning and O&M, and employment readiness offering students resume-building support, interpersonal skills training, and job search assistance to graduates get hired and stay employed.  For a detailed description of each learning objective, please visit our Learning Objectives.

The curriculum was designed based on the NABCEP PV Installer Specialist Job Task Analysis. This means that the skills learned during this course have been vetted by industry experts. Upon graduation, trainees will receive a certificate of completion, as well as a certificate for OSHA-10 and CPR/First Aid training.  We are dedicated to building a diverse, equitable, inclusive solar workforce that offers people of all backgrounds access to family-sustaining careers that bring wealth to their communities.

  • Job site safety
  • Fall protection
  • Array layout
  • Racking installation
  • Module level power electronics (MLPE) installation
  • Module installation
  • Electrical safety
  • Electrical layout and mounting
  • Conduit bending and installation
  • Electrical wiring
  • Employment readiness training 

Program Cost & Eligibility

This training program has no cost for eligible participants, and trainees may be paid to participate. Eligibility may vary by region but priority will be given to individuals from environmental justice communities and communities who have been historically excluded from the benefits of clean energy. We also prioritize recruitment from mission-aligned partners including community-based organizations, job training organizations, and educational institutions.  Minimum requirements to enroll include:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Basic comprehension of English or Spanish (based on program location), including the ability to follow basic oral instructions and understand safety guidelines. 
  • Authorization to work in the country where the program is being offered
  • Be a current resident of Nicaragua or Puerto Rico.
  • Physical ability to perform activities related to solar installation work, including but not limited to: standing for long periods (sometimes on a sloped surface), bending, stooping, squatting, kneeling, twisting, working above the shoulders, working with manual and electric hand tools, repetitive motions, lifting and carrying up to 50lbs, working in direct sunlight, working with trip hazards, and working at heights.  Reasonable accommodations will be made for trainees with disabilities.
  • Highly motivated to work in the solar industry

Employment Opportunities for Trainees

IBT graduates have access to various potential employment paths, including

  • On-site networking opportunities with other participants and corporate sponsors
  • Referrals to companies who are hiring for installation and other positions in the solar industry
  • Referrals through GRID's Sub-contractor Partnership Program (SPP) for paid short-term work as an SPP job trainee.  

Are you a solar employer or job training organization?

If you are interested in group training programs or hiring a GRID trainee, please visit our Job Training Organization and Employer pages.

Are you interested in sponsoring a training cohort?

If you are interested in providing financial support to sponsor a cohort of job trainees to participate in our workforce training program, please contact us. Individual, foundation, government, job training organization or company sponsorships are available.  Your financial support allows GRID to recruit and train more people.