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Solar Workforce Development in the Midwest

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Public Policy in Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Engineering and Public Policy

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1311.1 - 22.1311.7



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Paper Authors


Bill Hutzel Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Bill Hutzel is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department at Purdue University. He manages the Applied Energy Laboratory that is used for teaching and applied research into High Performance Buildings.

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Tehri Parker Midwest Renewable Energy Association

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Tehri Parker is the Executive Director of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA). Tehri has served as a member of the Focus on Energy renewable energy coordinating committee, an advisory group that developed Wisconsin’s statewide renewable energy incentive and training programs. She is also on the Milwaukee Shines Solar City Advisory Committee, and the Principle Investigator for a regional solar instructor training initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Tehri is an Adjunct Faculty member and Honorary Associate at University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. She has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Minnesota.

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Solar Workforce Development in the Midwest Bill Hutzel, Associate Professor, MET Department, Purdue University Tehri Parker, Ph.D., Exuctive Director, Midwest Renewable Energy AssociationEven in a difficult economy, “green jobs” is one sector of the workforce that is poised for rapidgrowth. Both homeowners and business are recognizing that energy efficiency and renewableenergy are economically viable, good for the environment, and a necessary part of long termenergy policy in the United States. As work in this area accelerates, one potential problem is alack of personnel with training and expertise to work in these areas.To address this concern with respect to solar energy, the U.S. Department of Energy launched anaggressive project in 2009 to create and deliver a nationally normed curriculum for solar thermaland solar photovoltaic workforce training. The goal is to accelerate market adoption of solartechnologies by ensuring that high-quality installations are standard and to create sustainablejobs within the solar installation industry.Since solar design and installations will vary by geographic location, this nationwide project isbroken down into eight regions that encompass all 50 states. The Midwest region is being servedby a group of technical and community colleges, non-profit organizations, universities, andindustry partners who are working together to build solar training capacity. These paperdocuments early efforts to develop, deliver, and evaluate solar training programs in Minnesota,Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. A central part of this effort is a wikienvironment that disseminates project information supports the collaborative development oftraining course content.

Hutzel, B., & Parker, T. (2011, June), Solar Workforce Development in the Midwest Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18580

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