Renewable energy training provided by CAC prepares students for careers in solar

By Angela Askey, Director of Marketing

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - In July 2009, Central Arizona College received over $2 million dollars in Community Based Job Training Grants, as implemented by the United States Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration for a Renewable Energy Program. The College began offering classes August 1, 2010.

Through this program, students can choose to earn a biofuels technician and solar photo voltaic (PV) technician certificate, or an associates of applied science in renewable energy technology.

Since its inception, 983 students were serviced through the grant funded program with the program ranking third in the college for the number of graduates.

"With the continued growth in the solar industry, even here in Pinal County, the college is equipped and prepared to provide qualified employees for companies seeking workers to fill vacant positions," stated Alma Farrell, program coordinator.

In just one semester, an individual can earn a solar PV certificate and gain the experience and knowledge needed to set up a solar system that ties into the electric grid or build a stand-alone solar system. This certificate requires the student to complete four classes: ELC126, Residential Wiring; ELC201, Solar Photo Voltaic I; ELC202, Solar Photo Voltaic II; and MAT111, Math for Electricians. These classes will be offered during the Fall 2014 semester and registration is currently underway. Students may choose also to complete OSHA certification and take a national certification test.

By completing this certificate, graduates are able to enter the workforce as a system designer or a technician in the solar industry.

Some may also choose to continue their education by completing the AAS degree in renewable energy technology where they will gain the solid foundational knowledge, skills, strategies and field experience to prepare them for multiple roles within alternative energy fields. Students will select a specialization area of either biofuels or photovoltaic technology.

For additional information about the solar photovoltaic technician certificate or other renewable energy program options please call 520-494-5370.

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814