CHICAGO, July 16, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Illinois' renewable energy job training programs showed strong progress in 2019, but policy change is needed to prevent the collapse of the state's wind and solar industry and ensure more renewable energy jobs will be available in Illinois. The 2019 Workforce Development Implementation Plan Report filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission reported that, in 2019:
Trainees landed in roles in solar installation, sales, inspection and more. Illinois' renewable energy industry has grown rapidly in recent years and both large and small businesses have been eager to hire training program graduates. The Illinois Solar Energy Association held job fairs to connect applicants and community organizations with its solar business members; the most recent event was held on March 11 in Midlothian.
But without a change to Illinois energy policy, job growth and opportunities for job trainees will grind to a halt in the coming months. Illinois Power Agency data shows the state's renewable energy program, as it stands, won't support new projects beyond 2020 and Illinois will fall far short of its mandated clean energy goals.
A few of the trainees who joined Illinois' solar industry in 2019:
"The training programs created by the Future Energy Jobs Act show that renewable energy can create careers for people who have too often been denied opportunity," said Rep. Will Davis, sponsor of the Path to 100 Act. "In order to build on this progress, we need to pass legislation that supports renewable energy growth."
"ISEA's member companies have been proud to strengthen their teams by hiring graduates of Illinois' job training programs," said Lesley McCain, Executive Director of the Illinois Solar Energy Association. "It's important we create long-term stability in Illinois' solar market so we can expand on the early successes we're seeing today."
"This report shows that the solar industry is committed to hiring people from historically marginalized communities and making the state's policy goals a reality," said Nakhia Morrissette, Central Region Director for SEIA. "But we can't continue creating solar jobs unless the state has a stable solar market. Legislation to fix the state's renewable energy program will allow us to continue creating a more diverse clean energy workforce."
Path to 100 is supported by labor and renewable energy organizations working to create jobs in Illinois. For more information, visit http://www.pathto100.net.
SOURCE Path to 100
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