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The Clean Energy Economy Executive Order signed by President Biden on December 8, 2021 includes ambitious goals of achieving carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030 and 100% zero-emission vehicle acquisitions by 2035. Meeting President Biden’s Clean Electricity Goals will require nearly 700,000 new Solar Energy Workers by 2035. And as directed by the Executive Order, this workforce needs to be climate- and sustainability-focused. The solar industry sector also needs to increase efficiency and reduce installation and operating costs.

The University of Arizona along with Pima Community College, local industry, and utilities is working to develop a novel Teamed Internship & Certificate Program for Solar Technicians and Engineers to educate underrepresented groups in Solar Technology and promote emerging career opportunities.

The program addresses perceived and ideologic differences between technicians and engineers.  The majority of SV technicians in today’s workforce are involved with PV operations, maintenance and installation, while engineers are typically responsible for design, research and system management. The fundamental differences between operations and management, coupled with variations in background and experience, create artificial barriers to efficient operations thereby increasing costs. The program will help both groups work towards eliminating these barriers.

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