ReVision Energy Training Center
In response to society’s rapidly increasing demand for solar electricity and complementary zero-emission technologies and the need for a qualified workforce to implement these solutions, ReVision Energy launched the ReVision Energy Training Center (RETC) in 2018.
RETC supports the workforce realities facing northern New England. Maine and New Hampshire are two of the oldest states in the country and are facing a critical shortage of skilled electricians as the region embraces ‘beneficial electrification‘ in the form of solar electricity combined with heat pumps, battery storage, and electric vehicle charging. Working in an industry with high market demand that lacks the benefits of a legacy workforce development infrastructure, ReVision Energy has invested in developing its own infrastructure to streamline professional development for new clean energy professionals.
State and federal regulations concerning the installation of solar electric systems and complementary technologies are becoming increasingly stringent, requiring the majority of our clean tech installation work to be done almost exclusively by licensed electricians with the help of registered apprentices, in very specific license-to-apprentice ratios. ReVision Tech was developed as a way to resolve the acute shortage of licensed electricians in New England, and to inspire our employee-owners to further their electrical skills.
Fostering employees’ personal and professional growth is also embedded in our core values. RETC is our most innovative expression of this core value and plays a crucial role in accelerating our long-term mission to transition northern New England from a fossil fuel based economy to a sustainable, renewable energy based economy.
First in the Country Approach to Technical Training
The first program developed within RETC was the ReVision Energy Electrical Apprenticeship Program (REEAP), the first employer-based apprenticeship program in the nation to provide the academic training required for renewable energy professionals to earn electrical licensure in Maine and New Hampshire. As a registered apprenticeship program, REEAP provides on-the-job learning, online instruction, and in-person instruction in a manner that complements the professional and personal lives of ReVision Energy employees.
RETC covers the cost of REEAP for our employee-owners and provides the program in-house in order to provide our installation team with the best education possible. As an in-house program, REEAP is designed to be the most worker-friendly registered apprenticeship program available by providing a better work/life balance than many conventional options.
Conventional trade schools often require students to leave the workforce or attend evening classes multiple nights a week, which creates extended days for workers who are already working in the field full-time. By combining online work with in-person training scheduled around work obligations, we are able to provide a much more reasonable schedule for our employee-owners.
REEAP significantly elevates the opportunity for our employee-owners to earn valuable trade skills and licensing that will set them up for a lifetime of success in the electrical trade. The program also allows ReVision Energy to promote quality and respond to increasingly stringent state and federal regulations concerning the installation of solar electric systems and complementary technologies. The majority of our clean tech work must be installed almost exclusively under the direct supervision of licensed electricians in very specific ratios to supervisory electricians to apprentices. REEAP allows us to address the acute shortage of licensed electricians in New England and strengthen the futures of our employee-owners.
REEAP is focused on fostering knowledge and career growth while balancing the work and lives of our employee-owners. “By bringing the program in-house, it allowed the program to be designed with the workers in mind,” says program director Vaughan Woodruff. “With their schedules in mind, recognizing when the busy times of the year are, and when there’s availability to fit in academic course work” into their otherwise busy lives.
Watch to learn more about the motive behind the first solar specific training program of it’s kind:
Supporting an evolving and growing workforce
ReVision Energy has seen a historical growth of roughly 20-25% per year. This demand has driven the need for highly skilled professionals who can sell, design, build, and maintain clean energy systems and other professionals who work behind the scenes to support the needs of running an employee-owned B Corp. These highly skilled professionals often aren’t recruited – they’re grown. With the speed at which our technologies change and our markets grow, ReVision Energy is largely in the business of helping passionate, skilled individuals apply their passions and skills to a new set of challenges.
RETC supports our ability to do just that. RETC is directed by Vaughan Woodruff, who joined us after the worker-owned B Corp he founded and ran – Insource Renewables – merged with ReVision Energy, has broad experience in the local and national solar industry with a focus on developing training and technical instruction. In addition to knowing the ins and outs of running a renewable energy construction business, he has developed and delivered training to assist instructors from New England high schools, community colleges, labor unions, and universities to integrate solar into their technical training programs. He has also developed and conducted solar training for Solar Energy International and Heatspring and provided code official training to inspectors and solar professionals across the country.
Vaughan and our team are expanding RETC’s efforts beyond our electrical apprenticeship program by supporting the professional development of co-owners across our company. Stay tuned to see more innovative programs developed to help us deliver on our mission of helping lead the region’s transition away from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy while supporting social and economic justice within our communities!
Ready for a bright, fulfilling career in a growing industry?
Nearly 90% of millennials want a job with a company whose mission aligns with their personal values. Solar is a growing industry with huge potential for career development and mission-driven work.
The transition to a solar-powered economy is just starting to hit scale, with solar having dropped in price by over 80% in the last ten years, and now being cost-competitive when pitted side-by-side with more traditional alternatives. As the grid rapidly transforms from a centralized, fossil-fuel powered system to a decentralized, ‘internet of things’ model powered by solar, a dramatically larger pool of skilled electrical workers is needed to build the grid of the future.
RETC was built to support these workers in gaining the skills they need to have a meaningful, impactful career in renewable energy. Check out our available careers and see if lifelong learning with ReVision is right for you!