Sphere Solar Energy is breaking down barriers and putting up solar panels, with community! Sphere welcomed a new cohort into the Clean Energy Career Pathways (CECP) internship program this spring. In 2022, Sphere launched the CECP program in partnership with the City of Seattle. Now in its second year, the CECP program continues its mission of diversifying the clean energy workforce.
To address the urgent crisis that is climate change, the world has accelerated its efforts in increasing clean energy technologies. The problem is that many in the industry say the country is already in a state of electrician shortage — one that could get worse as clean energy ramps up. And more electricians retire every year than are replaced. Right now, the US needs one million more electricians to hit our desired climate goals. Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), women, and low-income communities are significantly underrepresented in clean energy positions. However, these are the communities that bear the most burden from the impacts of climate change and need decarbonization the most.
The CECP program aims to eliminate the barriers of entry into the clean energy space and empower a whole new generation of communities never engaged before. The job readiness training offered by the CECP
program creates opportunities for historically underrepresented communities to gain real-world experience in clean technologies. With a demand for jobs in decarbonizing our homes, buildings, and vehicles, the CECP program fills the gap in the market by training electricians, solar installation technicians, and site assessment specialists from these diverse communities.
Program participants gain expertise in solar, EV charging stations, and battery storage systems as a part of their education with Sphere. They visit job sites, handle solar equipment, and receive direct post program job opportunities to enter the clean energy field immediately upon program completion.
Alongside learning more about the industry, participants are provided practical job readiness instruction in resume writing, enhancing interview skills, networking with industry professionals, and engaging in job and apprenticeship searches.
With electrification becoming the main solution to climate change, we will need to equip our underserved communities with the tools they need to keep their homes healthy and safe. The Clean Energy Career Pathways internship program is creating a diverse, qualified workforce that will improve the way we live, and ultimately, help save the world.