The SolarTech Workforce Innovations Collaborative (SWIC) is one of six public-private partnerships funded by the State of California’s $19 million Green Innovation Challenge program (2010-2012).
The three main agencies for SWIC are SolarTech, Nova Workforce Board, and Foothill-DeAnza Community College District. In turn, SolarTech is using the state funds to contract with SJSU’s College of Business and College of Engineering to pay for the curriculum and HR research of the SJSU Solar Workforce project.
The SolarTech Workforce Innovations Collaborative is funded by a $4 million contract with the California Employment Development Department that was awarded in June 2010 and will run through June 2012.
At the heart of the SWIC is the Solar Workforce Acceleration Model developed by SolarTech, which is now recommended by the EDD as an exemplar for public-private cooperation in green job workforce development. The Solar WAM describes an ongoing closed-loop process of both providing information and training to industry, and obtaining feedback from industry to the project to make sure the efforts remain relevant to industry needs.
One of the major goals of the project is to train and place workers — particularly displaced workers — to work in California’s solar energy energy industry. This efforts builds on earlier collaboration between SolarTech and DeAnza College in the Silicon Valley Solar Industry-Driven Regional Collaborative (IDRC).
Another goal is to develop ongoing workforce development capabilities for non-degree, associates, bachelor’s and master’s level students. These courses and training will be developed and offered at DeAnza College, Foothill College, and San José State University. The various education partners will also disseminate their curricular material to other public colleges and universities in California.
Finally, the SWIC partners will be gathering information from solar (and other RE/EE employers) to understand industry’s training needs and keep the project aligned to those needs. That includes a multi-wave panel survey of solar HR managers being conducted as part of the SJSU Solar Workforce project.
Last updated August 18, 2011