75,000 solar workers will now be trained due to a new initiative to expand the nation's solar industry workforce. The launch of the 75,000 solar workers initiative was made by President Obama during a visit to Utah's Hill Air Force Base on Friday, according to the Washington Post.
The program with the 75,000 solar workers is reportedly part of the president's plans of combating climate change, according to a White House announcement on the program Friday.
The U.S. Department of Energy will be training 75,000 people to take part in the solar power industry by 2020. Many of the75,000 solar workers will reportedly be part of a military veterans jobs initiative called Solar Ready Vets.
The new goal was touted by Obama, hoping to bolster the economy and help meet the White House's climate change goals.
This week, the Obama administration announced a target for greenhouse gas emissions to be cut nationwide by up to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, reported NBC News. Therefore, boosting the solar power industry's workforce will be vital in achieving the emissions reductions, said the White House's announcement
The announcement on the 75,000 solar workers comes as the solar industry in the U.S. booms. More than 30,000 people have reportedly been added to its workforce between 2013 and 2014. This year, another 36,000 solar jobs are expected to be put in addition.
As solar power project prices fall, investments stream towards solar as one of the most promising low-carbon electricity generating technologies in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that increase global temperatures, according to Scientific American.
According to the White House, the solar industry is creating jobs 10 times faster than the overall economy, therefore the 75,000 solar workers initiative comes as no surprise.
Solar Ready Vets will reportedly be training servicemen and women who are transitioning from active duty to the private workforce in solar-related skills. These include installing solar panels, connecting solar projects to the electric power grid, as well as making solar projects comply with building codes. The training of the75,000 solar workers is to be held at 10 military bases across the U.S.
According to Andrea Luecke, president and executive director of the Solar Foundation, an organization publishing the annual National Solar Jobs Census, Obama's announcement on the the75,000 solar workers may not increase the size of the solar industry's workforce, however, it will ensure the industry's highly skilled workers to fill jobs.
"We're experiencing difficulty finding more skilled and qualified workers to install and do design work required," said Luecke.
She added that the industry's workforce has a "skills gap" since well-trained electricians and other workers are going back to other construction jobs while the economy gains momentum.
Solar Ready Vets and the White House's jobs goal of the75,000 solar workers by 2020 will hopefully encourage people in joining the solar workforce. However, only with more demand for solar power projects can the number of jobs available be increased, added Luecke.
The75,000 solar workers program was announced by Obama announced the same day the March jobs report was released . It reportedly shows the most sluggish U.S. employment growth since December 2013.