The solar energy industry is growing rapidly to meet America's demand
for clean, renewable energy. Lewis and Clark, the leading provider in
the region for photovoltaic (solar energy) installation and training,
has prepared more than 60 individuals in the last year to begin a new
career or enhance their current one in photovoltaic power systems.
Corporate & Community Learning offers beginning and advanced
courses taught by full-time faculty members Mike Morgan and Jim Duffey,
who developed the curriculum based on North American Board of Certified
Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) standards.
This spring Corporate & Community Learning partnered with the
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 649 to
train two groups of journeymen. The group learned design concepts for
the emerging industry as well as how to size PV systems for stand-along
and grid-tied applications.
"The photovoltaic program is a great example of the region pooling its
resources,” said Tom Monroe, dean of Corporate and Community Learning
at Lewis and Clark. “Madison County helped acquire some grant funding
to create a world-class lab. Lewis and Clark supplied our great
instructors and curriculum, and the IBEW is bringing its highly skilled
craftsmen to the table. The end result is that area residents and
businesses have a well-trained resource to take us into solar panel
Instructor Mike Morgan believes the United States has a viable
opportunity to capture new markets and support demands for retooling
the energy industry and create new jobs.
“I am proud to be part of an educational system at Lewis and Clark that helps tomorrow’s professionals
get the training they need today. Our alliance with the IBEW on
apprentice education has been long-standing and very rewarding. It is
great to be in partnership with them in this era of cooperative
partnership, especially for this new area of specialization in PV.”