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Workforce Development

Solar Education & Training for the
Growing Clean Energy Economy

Since 2012, RREAL has partnered with leaders from White Earth Nation to expand solar capacity at tribal facilities in pursuit of clean energy independence and reduced energy costs for households and community centers. Together, with support from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, we have installed 312 kW of solar capacity around White Earth Nation, adding 200 kW in 2021 alone.

In 2021, working with White Earth-based Solar Educator, George Lemelin (far left in photo above, with installers from REAL Solar and the first cohort of solar interns), RREAL and White Earth Tribal & Community College (WETCC) created a paid solar internship program to provide the initial education & certification needed to pursue a career in solar development.

Now, as the internship program continues, RREAL and WETCC are working to turn this program into an accredited Associates Degree Solar Program, with on the job training provided by RREAL projects and utility scale projects installed by Minnesota Power. This program should be in place in the fall of 2022.

Preparing a diverse and expanded solar workforce in our region is essential to ensure that workers across Minnesota are involved in & benefitting from clean energy economic growth as additional solar capacity is needed in our communities.

We extend our sincere thanks to the following partners for making this work possible.

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