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Penn State selected for national Solar Ready Vets program

Under the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Defense's newly launched Solar Ready Vets program, service members will learn how to size and install solar panels, connect electricity to the grid, and interpret and comply with local building codes. Credit: Himadeep NallavadlaAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's Solar Education and Resource Center is in final negotiations with the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Defense (DOD) to participate in their newly launched Solar Ready Vets program.

The initiative is one of several actions announced by the White House on Friday (April 3) as part of President Obama's commitment to drive growth in solar energy and train workers for clean-energy jobs.

According to the White House press release, the Solar Ready Vets program, based on the specific needs of high-growth solar employers, is tailored to build on the technical skills that veterans have acquired through their service and incorporates work-based learning strategies.

Service members will learn how to size and install solar panels, connect electricity to the grid, and interpret and comply with local building codes.

This accelerated training will prepare them for careers in the solar industry as installers, sales representatives, system inspectors and other solar-related occupations.

The program will be implemented at 10 military bases across the country, including Camp Pendleton in California, Fort Carson in Colorado and Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, which announced pilot initiatives earlier this year and are serving as a model for the program.

According to David Riley, associate professor of architectural engineering and director of the Penn State Solar Education and Resource Center, "Penn State will coordinate three training programs at Naval Station Norfolk in cooperation with Tidewater Community College, who will lead permanent training programs for veterans in the future."

He noted, "It is an honor to contribute to this important program which will also help grow Penn State's capabilities to be a leader in solar education and training."

Last Updated April 07, 2015

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