As the workforce training arm of Central New Mexico Community College, CNM Ingenuity (CNMI) has for the last several years offered a Solar Electric Basics program to educate the workforce on today’s solar technology. In an effort to keep up with the rising demand for solar technicians, CNMI has introduced new courses and programs to train New Mexicans for jobs in the renewable energy sector.
CNM Ingenuity has been working for several years to build its green/sustainable/renewable energy programs. Efforts have included faculty professional development; curriculum updates and new course development in partnership with industry; and acquisition of updated lab equipment. In addition to its workforce-centered programs, last year CNMI offered an online workshop for homeowners about the basics of investing in residential solar systems.
New Mexico’s solar development is expected to double in the next five years, and with it there will be a huge increase in demand for trained solar technicians and electricians. On a nationwide scale, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports Wind Technician and Solar Technician as the number one and number three fastest growing jobs in the country. The job of educating these workers falls largely on community colleges, allowing workers to get an excellent education at an affordable price and be ready to get to work on a typical timeline of just two years.
New Mexico’s existing large-scale solar development supports over 1,000 jobs, providing enough electricity to power 209,500 New Mexico homes. Solar technicians play an important role in their communities, doing the essential work of keeping the lights on in homes, schools, hospitals, businesses, and more. CNM even has multiple solar projects to power the campus with reliable, clean energy and provide students with firsthand experience in the maintenance and operation of large-scale solar projects. This industrial-scale solar program is scheduled to begin Fall 2021.
Renewable energy education in solar and wind power can also transfer well into other industries. Photovoltaic knowledge is useful in construction trades, electrical trades, engineering, code enforcement, firefighting, city planning, manufacturing, energy production and distribution, energy efficiency, real estate, and more.
All of CNMI’s solar courses are taught by instructors with decades of experience, both in the field and in the classroom. CNM Ingenuity is a nonprofit created by Central New Mexico Community College to offer innovative training and development in key areas as part of a broader effort to foster economic growth and forge links between education, business, and government.
To learn more about the Solar Electric Basics course, visit www.cnmingenuity.org.