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Biden-Harris Administration Announces $13.5 Million Investment to Equitably Grow Solar Energy Workforce

Funding from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda Will Support Creation of Quality, Clean Energy Careers, and Supercharge America’s Clean Energy Future

As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced 12 projects, whose work will span more than 13 states, selected for negotiation to launch training partnerships that expand the solar energy workforce in underserved and underrepresented communities, as well as create career pathways with thousands of good-paying jobs. The selectees include partners from industry, tribal organizations, unions, community colleges, and state and local governments. The $13.5 million program, including $10 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of equitably boosting economic opportunities across America while achieving a 100% clean electricity grid by 2035.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is accelerating the clean energy transition, resulting in the creation of hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs and boosting our growing clean energy economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “That’s why DOE is working to jump-start solar energy careers, especially in underserved communities, developing the long-term structures needed to deliver these jobs over the next decade.”

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.

According to the 2022 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, the solar industry comprises over 330,000 employees and added 17,200 new jobs in 2021 – an increase of 5.2 percent. The report also found that while the solar industry is more diverse than some other energy industries, the overall energy workforce lags in Hispanic (17%), Black (8%), and Indigenous worker (1%) representation. With solar power potentially contributing up to one third of the U.S. electricity supply, there is a need for more equity and inclusivity in the industry.  

DOE expects that the industry will need to grow to between 500,000 and 1,500,000 workers by 2035 to achieve the Biden-Harris Administration’s decarbonization goals. These jobs should be accessible to workers from all backgrounds, provide competitive wages and benefits, and offer opportunities for union membership.

The Advancing Equity through Workforce Partnerships Funding Program selections announced today will directly address the need for diversity and inclusion. After two years of gathering information and engaging stakeholders, DOE designed this program to foster the development of workforce programs that facilitate the rapid deployment of solar energy technologies while growing and supporting an inclusive workforce.

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