Strata Solar becomes first employer-partner of North Carolina solar apprenticeship

Governor Roy Cooper attended North Carolina’s first Clean Energy Youth Apprenticeship Pilot in July.

Strata Clean Energy will be the first clean energy employer partner of this new program, partnering with ApprenticeshipNC to develop a youth internship and registered internship program in Solar Operations and Maintenance.

Located at Halifax Community College, the Halifax Lighthouse Solar Camp is the first hybrid model of its kind in North Carolina. Students in the program combine classroom experience with paid hands-on experience through Strata Clean Energy.

“We are honored to be a part of this pivotal program,” said Strata CEO Markus Wilhem. “We hope this program will be used as a model for other counties and states to increase the number of qualified clean energy professionals. This is exceptionally critical as states advance clean energy legislation as our industry continues to grow.”

In May 2021, 20 high school students began training as part of the pilot program to work in solar and wind energy jobs. Students attend a hybrid program of 96 hours of classroom instruction and 80 hours of paid, work-based learning. Upon completion of the program, students receive a Solar Workforce Certificate and three industry certifications: OSHA 10 – Construction, Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Level, and Working Smart. NCA&T offers supplemental curriculum and donations from members of the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) pay for all student transportation and lunches.

“Every day I learn more and more about teamwork, workplace safety, solar energy, and problem solving,” said Zaniya Battle, a student in the program. “This camp provides me with such a rewarding experience as I continue to network with my peers. The hands-on activities are very engaging and informative. I learn more details about the three E’s of safety: Educate, Enforcement and Engineer.”

The Clean Energy Youth Apprenticeship was developed in partnership with the Office of the Governor, NCBCE, NC Energy Office, NC A&T University, NC Community Colleges, Halifax County Schools, Halifax Community College, and the Center for Energy Education. Strata Clean Energy will be the first employer partner of this new program, collaborating with ApprenticeshipNC to develop a youth internship and registered internship program in Solar Operations and Maintenance.

As North Carolina transitions to a clean energy economy, skilled workers are needed to fill jobs and help the industry grow. In a statement released earlier this week, Governor Cooper stated, “North Carolina’s transition to a clean energy economy creates high-paying jobs, and we need skilled and prepared workers. It is uplifting to see high school students from different backgrounds getting the knowledge and skills they need to work in the growing fields of solar and wind energy.”

News item from Strata Clean Energy

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