San Francisco Gets Solar Scholarships

Interested in a green collar career? Live in the Bayview/Hunter’s Point neighborhood of San Francisco? You could qualify for an all-expenses-paid solar training scholarship at the City College of San Francisco.

This innovative program–believed to be the first of its kind–is funded through SolarCity, a privately held commercial solar installation company based in the Bay Area, and Young Community Developers (YCD), a 36 year-old nonprofit organization that provides job training and support opportunities for residents of this neighborhood, which is among the Bay Area’s most disadvantaged. SolarCity contributed scholarship funding for instructors, tuition and fees, books and student expenses, while YCD helped to identify and recruit the 15 students who will make up the program’s inaugural class.

SolarCity Scholarship

image via SolarCity

The training program, conducted at the City College of San Francisco, will include credit and non-credit courses offering instruction in electrical applications for construction, construction safety and photovoltaic (solar electric) installation. SolarCity will also help develop the curriculum to expose students to a range of skills required not only for installation, but for engineering, design, sales and marketing, administration and other back-office activities associated with solar. As part of the course, students will take the “gold standard” test for PV installation certification, the entry level exam of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.

“This program has been a long time in the making, but I am delighted with the final result,” said Peter Rive, SolarCity’s co-founder and chief operations officer, in a statement. “This partnership with City College and Young Community Developers will leverage the best of each organization to create one of the best solar training programs in the country, and hopefully, a model that can be duplicated at schools elsewhere.”

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.