Solar Training and Careers
Residential Rooftops, and Community Solar
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
6:00 p.m. - Free Pizza Buffet and Social 6:30 p.m. - Program
Mississippi Room at the Brooklyn Park Library
8500 West Broadway, Brooklyn Park, MN 55428
As solar panels increased capacity for capturing the energy of the sun, the price of solar energy rapidly decreased. Many people from electric companies to homeowners have found that solar energy is the least costly form of energy. As a result, the solar industry is the fastest growing industry in our country and will need increasing numbers of workers.
Jamez Staples - Executive Director, Renewable Energy Partners
Jamez Staples will speak on the training, jobs, and careers aspect of solar energy. He is working on the Regional Apprenticeship Training Center (RATC), a public-private partnership between public schools, cities along the Bottineau/Blue Line Light Rail Extension, Minnesota State community and technical colleges, trade and business groups. It will provide tuition-free vocational training options for high school students, apprenticeships and internships in energy, technical, construction and emerging sustainability technologies. The training center will be located in Minneapolis at 1112-1200 Plymouth Avenue.
The RATC is closely modeled on C-TECH, a highly successful program of vocational training in Rochester, which provided vocational training to about 10% of Rochester public school students in 2017 who received credits toward two-year Associate’s degrees. A focus for the RATC will be renewable energy, energy storage, smart grid, energy efficiency and related sustainable technology and construction fields, all of which will contribute to help cities reach their goal of 100% renewable energy.
Jan Hubbard - President, Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA), Principal, Natural Energy Solutions
Jan Hubbard will cover solar energy from its users' perspective. Users include a wide variety of organizations from cities, schools, religious centers, nonprofit organizations, and businesses to homeowners and renters. His discussion will include residential rooftop and community solar energy and the Solar for Schools Bill which has wide support in the MN legislature. Energy is the second largest cost for most schools in Minnesota.
In the solar energy industry for a decade, Jan currently consults on solar energy and energy storage systems and provides project development, design, business development, construction management, and project management services. He is a 10 year board member of the MnSEIA whose members include solar manufacturers, educational and informational organizations, architects, engineers, law firms, companies, and individuals.
Robert Blake - Outreach Coordinator, Interfaith Power & Light (MNIPL)
Robert Blake will describe the current and upcoming community solar garden projects in Hennepin County to which businesses and residents in the county can subscribe. Mr. Blake recruits solar garden subscribers and works with MNIPL's solar workforce development program.
Mr. Blake is a graduate student in the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership program at Metropolitan State University. He is an enrolled tribal member of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe Indians and owns Solar Bear, a solar installation company.
Come with your Questions
A Question and Answer Session will follow the speakers' presentations.