Brentwood, NH ReVision Energy officially launched a new electrical apprenticeship school at its headquarters on 7 Commercial Dr. A launch program with public officials and local solar apprentices was followed by a public open house as part of National Apprenticeship Week.
The new ReVision Energy Technical Center (RETC), approved by the state of New Hampshire, will enable workers (with or without a college degree) to complete the requisite classroom training and hands-on experience to become certified electricians, all while earning a competitive wage as an electrical apprentice and employee-owner of ReVision Energy, the leading solar installer in New England. RETC is also a state-approved, in-house electrical program in Maine. ReVision Energy currently has more than a dozen open positions and is among the hundreds of state businesses that are severely constrained by a lack of available workers.
The school will be led by ReVision Energy master electrician Nathan Poland, a former electrical technology instructor and director of the New Hampshire state electrical apprenticeship program at Dover School of Technology. “ReVision Energy is committed to expanding work opportunities and supporting apprenticeship programs,” said Poland.
“These programs will allow workers without a four-year degree to develop valuable skills and to advance in their fields. Apprenticeship in the trades is a solid career choice, as is choosing the path of a post-secondary, two or four-year college.”
In order to accelerate the clean energy transition in New England, ReVision Energy encourages lawmakers to participate in the open house and work together year-round to develop sound public policies that will address New Hampshire’s workforce, demographic, and environmental challenges. The solar industry, which already employs over 250,000 mainly younger workers nationwide, is considered a prime opportunity for New Hampshire to meet these three areas of need. According to CNN, two-thirds of young people find clean energy jobs appealing and a similar percentage are opposed to working in non-renewable energy industries.
“As the second-oldest state in the country, New Hampshire urgently needs to attract young workers in the skilled trades, and we believe solar is one of the most promising win-win opportunities out there,” said Dan Weeks, ReVision Energy’s director of market development. “Already our state is home to over 70 solar businesses, which contribute over $150 million to the state economy annually and employ more than 1,000 workers. Now we have a chance to grow those numbers exponentially with trade schools like this and a forward-looking energy strategy in Concord.”
Transitioning New Hampshire to 100% clean energy would create more than 16,000 permanent, local jobs in the coming decades while addressing climate change and bringing down energy costs, according to research from Stanford University. There is currently a severe shortage of skilled workers to meet the demand for solar installations nationwide.
Former electrical and plumbing apprentices, as well as leaders from the Department of Labor, Electrical Contractors Business Association (ECBA), International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) and other institutions will be available at the November 14th open house to outline career opportunities in the trades and to answer questions. The event will include warehouse tours and refreshments, as well as discussions on how the clean energy industry and apprenticeship programs create high-quality, middle-class jobs and attract young workers who, historically, have been difficult to retain in the state.