Rappahannock Community College to Offer Solar Installation Technician Training Course in 2022

The partnership with SHINE will offer Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula students career pathways in the dynamic and fast-growing solar industry

In partnership with the Solar Hands-On Instructional Network of Excellence (SHINE), in 2022 Rappahannock Community College (RCC) will begin offering a course to provide students with limited or no previous work experience in the solar industry with the skills and training to obtain employment as utility-scale solar installation technicians. The course, called SHINE Solar 101, is currently offered at select community colleges throughout Virginia.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics expects solar photovoltaic installation to be one of the fastest growing occupations in this decade. With the General Assembly’s passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, the transition to an electric grid powered increasingly by renewable energy is expected to create up to 13,000 jobs per year in Virginia’s advanced energy economy. RCC’s partnership with SHINE offers residents of the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula the opportunity to join the dynamic and fast-growing solar industry.

”We are thrilled to partner with SHINE to begin offering this course next year,” said RCC President Shannon Kennedy. “We hear a lot about job growth in clean energy, but without hands-on training, it’s very difficult for people without solar experience to land one of these jobs. This course will help bridge that gap.”

Through a combination of classroom and hands-on, in-the-field instruction, students who complete the fast-track SHINE Solar 101 course will learn basic construction skills and safety, basic photovoltaic circuitry concepts (e.g. panel wiring and combiner boxes), how to install mounting hardware, and ground-mount solar panel installation. Graduates of the Solar 101 course receive OSHA-10 and SHINE certification, boosting graduates’ marketability to employers.

“This is the perfect time to bring the SHINE Program to the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula,” said David Peterson, SHINE’s Executive Director. “We’re thrilled to partner with RCC to ensure the members of these communities can benefit fully from the great number of solar jobs we know will be created within the region in the coming months and years.”

RCC provides inclusive access to exceptional training and educational opportunities, meeting the community’s needs and preparing individuals for success as learners, employees, and citizens.

With six distinct learning centers, the RCC serves students of the Middle Peninsula and the Northern Neck regions of Virginia. Financial assistance is available through Virginia’s G3 and FastForward scholarships for education and credentialing in high demand fields. For more information about RCC, please contact Janet Childs at (804) 333-6754 or jchilds@rappahannock.edu.

Founded in 2018, SHINE is a public-private partnership that includes Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC), leading solar developers, construction companies, energy consulting & recruiting firms and tech companies to build innovative solar career pathways in Virginia. For more information about SHINE, please contact David Peterson at (804) 307-8132 or david@shine.energy.