Last month, Women in Solar Energy (WISE) announced a workforce training partnership with the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (formally known as the North Carolina Solar Center). Through this partnership, WISE members will gain increased access to the Center’s robust course offerings and training opportunities, including its Certificate in Renewable Energy Management and Renewable Energy Technologies Diploma Series.

This partnership is indicative of WISE’s overarching workforce development program, which is in line with the non-profit’s mission to advance, retain, and retrain women in the solar energy industry. Women are generally underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers, and according to the Solar Foundation’s 2014 Solar Jobs Census, women comprise a mere 21% of the solar workforce.

“Access to training opportunities is critical to providing women with more opportunities for advancement in the solar energy industry,” said Kristen Nicole, Executive Director of Women in Solar Energy. ”Through this partnership, we hope to encourage the retention of women in the technical aspects of solar, and provide our more junior members with access to education to jumpstart their career in our growing industry.”

“There are many career options for women in the solar industry. We’d like to see more women involved not only in the project development and sales side of the equation, but also in the design, and installation of these systems,” said Lyra Rakusin, Senior Renewable Energy Training Specialist at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center. “I’d like to get to a point where we have classes that have 50% attended by females.”

The partnership with the Center is only one of WISE’s workforce development programs. The non-profit has similar partnerships with NABCEP and Solar Energy International, and hosts a jobs board on its members-only portal. WISE also has other programs to support its mission, including mentorship and SheSpeaks Solar, an initiative to widen speaking opportunities for women at industry conferences. The national non-profit also connecting nearly 350 women and men in 15 cities through its #NationWISE round table.

WISE members should use the discount BeWISE to receive discounted registration fees to NCETC's trainings. View upcoming trainings at http://nccleantech.ncsu.edu/education-training.

About Women in Solar Energy (WISE)
Women in Solar Energy is a 501(c)3 nonprofit membership organization focused on the advancement and retention of women in the solar energy industry. Companies interested in becoming a Founding Member or supporting the organization through corporate donation should contact Kristen Nicole directly at kristen@solwomen.org. For more information, please visit www.solwomen.org.

About The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center
The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center is a UNC System-chartered Public Service Center administered by the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University. Its mission is to advance a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies. Visit:www.nccleantech.ncsu.edu

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