With the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) and continuing progressive legislation, resources for energy efficiency and solar energy in Illinois have rapidly increased, including the creation of FEJA workforce development programs. As a direct benefit of this law, Elevate Energy supports underserved communities in gaining access to and benefitting from these emerging energy investments through solar job training and contractor development.
This spring we saw the hard work and dedication of the trainees of these programs come to fruition with the graduation of the second cohorts from the FEJA Solar Jobs Training Program in both Chicago and Marion, Illinois. Trainees of the Program went through comprehensive training that prepared them for a career in solar. This included long hours in the classroom as well as hands-on experience learning to work with solar systems.
The goal of the Program was to give students job-ready skills and connect them with employment opportunities through local contractors in solar and energy efficiency. A hiring event was held in both Chicago and Marion at the end of each program, which connected the new graduates with local contractors looking for qualified candidates. Many of the graduates were extended job offers at the hiring events.
This spring we also celebrated the completion of the ComEd Diverse Energy Efficiency Service Provider (EESP) Incubator Project, which Elevate Energy administers. The Incubator provided training and support to minority, women-owned, disabled, and veteran small contractors to increase their capacity to access ComEd energy efficiency projects by joining ComEd’s contractor network. After completing the Incubator, eight of the businesses have joined ComEd’s contractor network and more are on track.
“The manner in which Elevate Energy is implementing this program is far superior than any we have taken part in thus far,” said Percy Harrison of Harrison Contractors, a participant of the Incubator. “[Your efforts] show that you all have taken much more than a cursory interest in our company’s success — you all have actually made an investment. That is rare.”
Interested in learning more about clean energy jobs training opportunities? Read our guide to FEJA programs here.