Solar apprenticeship training program launches

Gets boost from local solar installer donation

Vermont Business Magazine Adult Continuing Education at Burlington Technical College (ACE-BTC) has launched a new program to help individuals without previous experience find jobs in the solar industry. ACE’s “Solar Installation Apprenticeship Program” started in the fall with the mission of offering workforce development programs that graduate highly qualified students to enter the workforce, with all the skills and abilities to succeed.

This program is a partnership between ACE-BTC, SunCommon, Vermont Adult Learning, Essex SkillTech, ReSource, and AGCVT. It was made possible with additional support of the Vermont Department of Labor.

“We hope that this program can serve as a model for more apprenticeship programs around the state.” said Marni Leiken, director of the program.

With a commitment to help more people join the solar industry, local solar installer SunCommon has been collaborating with ACE in the development of the program. They will also be offering program participants a paid internship starting in the spring to give them hands-on experience. SunCommon recently wrapped up their annual holiday giving campaign where they’re providing funding to help cover the costs of the program for participants. The campaign raised over $7,700 that will be split between ACE and a similar clean energy apprenticeship program in the Hudson Valley where the company also operates.

There are currently over 1000 people employed in the solar industry in Vermont and solar installer is currently one of the fastest growing jobs in the nation. “The clean energy industry continues to grow and there is certainly opportunity for more people to join this industry. Partnering with groups like Adult Continuing Education helps people with no previous experience get started in building a new career as we transition off of fossil fuels.” SunCommon co-founder Duane Peterson said.

The ACE apprenticeship program is currently accepting new participant applications until January 25. You can find more information by visiting the program website.

About Adult Continuing Education: Adult & Continuing Education at Burlington Technical Center provides workforce development courses and comprehensive programs to adults in the greater Burlington community. ACE delivers opportunities through practical instruction, in lab and classroom settings, in in-person and hybrid models. ACE partners with industry to build training programs that meet specific hiring needs. ACE also partners with the Department of Labor, Community and Economic Development Office (Burlington), Vermont Adult Learning, and other organizations and entities, to provide accessible, comprehensive and effective training across many fields. A goal is to graduate students that are highly qualified to enter the workforce, with the skills and abilities to succeed.

About SunCommon: SunCommon is a market-solution to climate change with a purpose beyond profit. As Vermont’s largest solar provider and a NYSERDA quality leader in the Hudson Valley and Capital Region of New York, we believe that everyone has the right to a healthy environment and brighter future – and renewable energy is where it starts. SunCommon is a Certified B Corp based on a rigorous third party assessment of our commitment to the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.

SunCommon's 160 employees are passionate about our values led business. Our mission is to tear down barriers to clean energy and use our business as a force for good. For more information, go to and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @suncommon.

Source: SunCommon. Waterbury, Vermont. Jan 19, 2021