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Solar Expansion Introduces Hiring Challenges

June 22, 2021
Austin, TX

As the Solar industry works towards cutting electricity emissions down to zero, a massive expansion of the Solar sector is anticipated. Some analysts predict that the industry could grow up to ten times its current size over the next 15 years.

This prompts the biggest challenge the industry faces--being able to upscale its workforce to meet the increase in demand.

According to the Solar Energies Industry Association (SEIA), solar capacity in the US increases by almost 50 percent yearly, but the size of the workforce is unable to keep up with the pace.

Our Solar Skills Gap Report highlights how identifying workers with the right skills and experience has become particularly challenging for many businesses in the Solar sector. We believe that by formalizing training processes we’ll be able to upscale the skilled Solar workforce needed for the future. The report also provides steps that your business can take to help tackle the Solar skills gap.

In this first of two blogs, we’ll provide you with insight into the hiring challenges of the Solar sector, as well as the expectations for future Solar growth.

The Hiring Challenges

At the top of the federal government’s agenda is cutting electricity carbon emissions in the US to zero, and Washington D.C. will be looking to the Solar industry to help achieve this goal. Furthermore, the government is banking on a substantial expansion of the Solar sector in order to produce the electricity needed to make up for the shortfall that will be caused by phasing out fossil fuel production.

While the Solar industry has seen a huge boom and experienced considerable growth over the last decade, there are not enough Solar workers needed to bridge the skills gap. As the demand for Solar spikes, so does the need for a substantial increase in the number of experienced, trained solar industry professionals.

According to the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census, California is one state that has suffered a great decrease in Solar jobs, for example. The state lost 13.6% of its Solar jobs in 2017, and 11.1% in 2018. Many other states are experiencing the same demand fluctuations, even though solar jobs are predicted to grow an average of 7.8% nationwide year over year.

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The Future of Solar Jobs

On a more positive note, the Solar Foundation published data in 2019 stating that the number of Solar jobs in the US had increased by 2.3 percent to nearly 250,000 jobs. However, the industry may have been making up for the losses it experienced in recent years. From 2017-2018, the number of Solar jobs decreased 3.2 percent.

While the US will be leaning heavily on the Solar sector to help cut carbon emissions, the Solar industry will continue to struggle to retain talent.

This is where Workrise can help. With two decades of staffing experience--we know how to reach the incoming generation of workers and attract them to the trades.

We heavily emphasize our focus on the worker first, by providing best-in-class pay, comprehensive benefits, and 401K. And by supplying the training needed, we help prepare our workers for future career advancement in their trade.

In our next blog, we’ll discuss the impact of the skills gap on Solar companies, and provide you with solutions for how to tackle the hiring challenges.

Ready to gain more insight on how to bridge the Solar skills gap? Download our full report.

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