CITY OFFICIALS CELEBRATE 2018 CLEAN ENERGY TRAINEES

In Blondell Reynolds Brown, Council News, Darrell L. Clarke, Derek Green, Featured, News by PHL Council

‘Find Your Power’ Jobs Training Program, Overseen by PEA, Receives $100,000 From PECO

Philadelphia, June 5, 2018 Council President Darrell L. Clarke, Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite, and representatives of PECO and Siemens on Tuesday honored the Spring 2018 graduates of “Find Your Power,” a solar and energy efficiency training course administered by the Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) and School District of Philadelphia.

The newest “Find Your Power” trainee class includes 20 School District career and technical education (CTE) high school students who are preparing for in-demand jobs in the clean energy industry.

“I am so proud that Philadelphia is busting misconceptions about solar energy by making it accessible, affordable, and creating career opportunities for our young people along the way,” Council President Clarke said. “Thank you to PEA, the program sponsors, and the School District for making our vision for a greener, more affordable, and more economically vibrant Philadelphia a reality. Congratulations to the ‘Find Your Power’ trainees, and thank you for committing yourselves to a better Philly for everyone.”

“We look forward to a continued partnership with the Philadelphia Energy Authority to expand the ‘Find Your Power’ program to even more students throughout our public schools,” Dr. Hite said. “The program aligns with our District’s sustainability initiative, GreenFutures, and furthers our work around college and career readiness. With all of the job opportunities available in the local clean energy industry, this program is the perfect fit for our students.”

PECO, the leading sponsor for the class, presented a check for $100,000 to help the PEA, created by City Council to further the City’s sustainability goals, continue to offer clean energy jobs training to young people in Philadelphia. Siemens and the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Solar in Your Community Challenge have also contributed funds to make the program possible.

“At PECO, we are committed to making a difference by strengthening the communities we serve and, most importantly, supporting those young people who will shape our future,” PECO President and CEO Mike Innocenzo said. “The Philadelphia Energy Authority’s ‘Find Your Power’ class, is a shining example of a program that not only educates, but also equips students with competitive skills to enter the workforce. We are proud to invest in such an innovative program, and will continue supporting youth education and enrichment across the Greater Philadelphia region.”

This was the first clean energy course offered to District students during the academic year. PEA piloted the “Find Your Power” curriculum last summer as a six-week class for 18 students. The program was met with such enthusiasm that PEA re-opened the program for students this spring semester. PEA will be training a new cohort of 20 students this summer as part of the Philadelphia Youth Network’s WorkReady program.

“Solar Installer is the fastest growing job in the country,” PEA Executive Director Emily Schapira, said. “We are proud to be preparing Philadelphia’s young people to take advantage of these new opportunities.”

“Solarize Philly has a strong record of helping citizens across our City literally find their power through solar installations,” Council Environment Committee Chair Blondell Reynolds Brown (At Large) said. “This celebration is important to not only honor the journey of these students, but also recognize the important work of the Philadelphia Energy Authority in creating new jobs while maintaining a dedication to diversity and inclusion.”

“Thanks to the partnership of the School District of Philadelphia with the Philadelphia Energy Authority, City Council, PECO, and Siemens, we are laying a foundation for our students that has the capacity to open countless doors for them throughout their careers,” Councilman Derek S. Green (At Large) added.

The “Find Your Power” program is supported by Solarize Philly, a citywide program to help Philadelphians go solar at home. Since 2017, more than 2,800 households have signed up to receive discounted group pricing on rooftop solar. Solarize Philly is now offering a special financing option for 45 low- and moderate-income households as a pilot program. Any homeowner in the City of Philadelphia can support PEA’s ongoing training initiatives by installing solar through this program.

Solarize Philly is part of the Philadelphia Energy Authority’s $1 billion Philadelphia Energy Campaign, a sustainable energy initiative announced by Council President Clarke in 2016 to reduce energy costs and create 10,000 energy sector jobs over 10 years. Solarize Philly is projected to create 75 living-wage, career jobs. After less than one year, the three solar companies serving customers through Solarize Philly created 27 new solar jobs. More than a third of these positions are filled by minorities, 42% by women, 59% by Philadelphia residents, and 11% by veterans.

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