The WISE Foundation, in concert with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and industry partners, created a scholarship program to support training and empowering women, veterans and minorities working toward degrees or certifications in the solar energy industry. The scholarship fund endows WISE with the ability to offer up to $4,000 scholarships to as many as fifteen individuals over the next three years. Scholarship recipients will receive funding for training, certification and participation in the NABCEP Continuing Education Conference, the industry’s premier technical solar craftsmanship event.
Background: The idea for this scholarship fund started with a podcast on how research had shown that occupational licensing actually increases the supply of underrepresented groups (women & minorities), featuring the research and efforts of Beth Redbird of Northwestern University. Basically, when jobs are obtained through nepotism or back channels, the favoritism is rampant and good jobs tend to go to those playing exclusivity games - but as you standardize the requirements in an industry, this evens the playing field for others to get competitive jobs and increased salaries.
This made us realize that NABCEP certification can be a strong force in bringing more gender and racial diversity and inclusion into the solar industry and the energy industry at large.
JANE M. WEISSMAN
Jane was the President and CEO of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) from 1994 - 2016. Prior to that position, she was appointed as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Photovoltaic Center, a Commonwealth’s Center of Excellence. She served as a founding leader and Vice Chair of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners and was elected and selected for other boards including the American Solar Energy Society and the National Network of Business and Industry Associations. Jane provided expert testimony before the U.S. Congress. The recipient of the prestigious Charles Greeley Abbot Award and the Renewable Energy World’s Leadership Award in policy, she published numerous papers and spoke often on topics in the field of renewable energy, clean energy workforce development, energy policy and credentialing.
After three decades in the clean energy sector moving technologies like solar photovoltaics into mainstream use, Jane now use images and commentary to express new relationships to capture contrasts of people and places. Some photos and narrative carry loud messages while others are couched in subtleties and humor. Research projects combine historical perspectives and stories with memorable visuals. Jane sailed the Mekong River in 2017 and then again in 2018 logging around 800 miles through Laos, Cambodia and Southern Vietnam.
Recent work includes Uncommon Musings of the Outer Cape (2017), The Mekong – A River of Contrast and Change (2018), and The Provincetown Railroad – The Tracks of Change (2019). Jane is an avid Red Sox fan. She splits her time between Boston and Provincetown, Massachusetts.