Solar installer is the fastest growing job in the U.S. and is currently listed as a High Priority Occupation for Philadelphia County due to high employer demand for solar workers. Solar jobs offer a living wage and do not require a college degree. Bright Solar Futures is an initiative to prepare Pennsylvania’s young people to fill these jobs, diversifying the solar sector while meeting employer demand for a trained workforce. As part of Bright Solar Futures, PEA has partnered with the School District of Philadelphia to establish Pennsylvania’s first high school vocational solar program, the first of its kind in the country.


PowerCorpsPHL Solar Fellows practice installing solar. (Credit: PowerCorpsPHL)

SUPPORT BRIGHT SOLAR FUTURES

  • Donate to the new Frankford Solar Lab. PEA is currently accepting financial and in-kind contributions for the new solar lab to be built at Frankford High School. The lab will house Pennsylvania’s first vocational high school solar program. Donate online at our GoFundMe page or check out our Equipment Wish List to see if there are specific items that you can contribute.
  • Host an intern. PEA places Bright Solar Futures graduates into funded summer internships each year. If you work in the clean energy sector and are interested in hosting one of our students as an intern, contact PEA’s Solar Training Fellow Joe Wilson (jwilson@philaenergy.org).

CURRENT CLASSES

  • High School Intro Class, Oct 2019 – May 2020. Ahead of the launch of the new Solar Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program at Frankford High School in Fall 2020, PEA is continuing to offer introductory solar training to a cohort of high school CTE students from Randolph, Mastbaum, Dobbins, Swenson, and Edison High Schools. 
  • PowerCorpsPHL Fellowship, Jan – May 2020. PEA has developed a parallel training pathway for Opportunity Youth in partnership with PowerCorpsPHL. The participants are between the ages of 18 and 30 years old and have already completed PowerCorpsPHL’s Foundations Program. The Fellowship is a 680-hour training, making it the most robust solar curriculum offered in Philadelphia to-date.

FUTURE CLASSES

  • [NEW] Frankford High CTE Program, Aug 2020 – May 2023. Pennsylvania’s first vocational high school solar program will kick off this fall at Frankford High School, adding new cohorts of 10th grade students each year. Current 9th grade students interested in joining the inaugural class can transfer to Frankford High School to enroll in the program. See this flyer for more information. 
  • PowerCorpsPHL Fellowship, Jan – May 2021. PEA will support a second Bright Solar Futures PowerCorpsPHL Fellowship in 2021. Members of PowerCorpsPHL’s Fall 2020 Foundations Program and PowerCorpsPHL Alumni (up to age 30) are eligible to apply. Visit http://powercorpsphl.org/ to join PowerCorpsPHL and become eligible to participate in this advanced training program. All successful trainees are connected to a 10-week internship and job opportunities.

ADULT TRAINING

PEA’s partner organizations offer no-cost solar training programs for adults. Contact the Energy Coordinating Agency and Philadelphia OIC to learn more.

BACKGROUND

PEA partnered with the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) to start training high school students for solar jobs in 2017. PEA delivered introductory solar training to 70 students in partnership with Solar States, the Energy Coordinating Agency, F.A.V.O.R., and the Philadelphia Education Fund between 2017 and 2019 and placed 20 of the successful trainees into paid internships in the clean energy sector. Sponsorship by PECO made these programs possible.

Bright Solar Futures is funded by a $1.25 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office and is implemented in collaboration with a robust network of partners: