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In this issue | April 2014
That's IREC's George Burmeister and Pat Fox at IREC's booth 
at the 2014 National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) Forum



by Pat Fox, IREC Director of Credentialing Development

Pat Fox





The Credentialing Buzz



Vibrant, energized, buzzing with thoughtful discussion - this was the atmosphere on the exhibit floor of the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) Forum 2014, where  late last month a key theme of discussion was the skills gap.  Many people coming into the workforce don't have the skills employers are seeking.  And it was evident at NAWB that more and more Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) are recognizing that credentials are an important part of the solution.


At its exhibit booth, the IREC credentialing team held a steady stream of conversations with WIBs from across the country who are seeking ways to be sure students who graduate from training programs have the skills they need to find a job.  For clean energy, they see clear value in identifying training that holds IREC accreditation.


There was much interest in what the San Bernardino County WIB is doing - asking training programs about IREC accreditation when they apply to be included in their Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL).  And most people we spoke with agreed that it was a good next step for WIBs to consider.  Adding strength to our message about the value of credentialing was the coordinated commitment of the Clean Energy Credentialing Coalition (CECC), which includes well-respected credentialing bodies focused on training, practitioners and equipment. This effort really made an impression; CECC brochures virtually flew off the table!


A second strong theme was data-based decision making.  To close the skills gap we need to understand which jobs are available and what specific skills are needed to fill them.  Several panel discussions focused on how to gather data and understand industry needs, and many vendors were on the exhibit floor with tools to help. One example is a company that aggregates all of the job opening data around the country, then analyzes it for what types of skills are required by industry for specific jobs. 


Finally, in the general session, Arianna Huffington gave a powerful and inspiring presentation with a valuable perspective on defining success.  And early in her talk she mentioned how important it is to "spotlight what is working," so we can repeat success. A long-standing mantra of IREC, her message reinforces much of how we work at shaping the future clean energy workforce -through the sharing of best practices.


One example I learned about at NAWB comes from the Greater Metro Denver Healthcare Partnership in Colorado. The partnership has brought together some of the largest healthcare employers in the area with the local training organizations.  They selected the most in-demand jobs and the skills required for those jobs, then used the information to develop training programs that would ensure a supply of workers trained to meet the needs of those in-demand jobs.


"The Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC), has implemented a nationally proven model for developing regional industry specific partnerships," says Emily Lesh, CWDC assistant director. "This model can be used across industry sectors to result in a competitive workforce which has the skills to meet business needs."


Overall, there was clear value in this conference.  Many thanks go to NAWB for organizing such a productive event and keeping the focus on skills, credentials and learning from success.




4/28 | First Student-Centered GEARED Conference

Newport Beach, CA 


4/28-30 | SEPA Utility Solar Conference

Newport Beach, CA


Detroit, MI


4/30-5/1 | CERES Conference
Boston, MA


5/6 | SITN Seminar: PV O&M


5/6 | ANSI-IREC Accreditation Workshop

Washington, DC


5/19-22 | SunShot Grand Challenge Summit 2014

Anaheim, CA



6/20-22 | The Energy Fair
Custer, WI


6/23-25 | PV America East
Boston, MA



San Francisco, CA
Las Vegas, NV



Visit IREC's online calendar for more events.
Credentialing program square logo
The IREC Credentialing Program lays the foundation for a competent workforce for the clean energy economy. Using robust standards and a detailed process of application and assessment, IREC drives quality workforce training and increased consumer confidence in the industry.  

IREC's Jane Weissman Moderates White House Solar Champs of Change Panel

"Quality is invisible; mistakes are not," said IREC President/CEO Jane Weissman, who moderated Solar Jobs Training and Workforce, the first panel of the Solar Champions of Change at a White House Summit recently. Ten solar champions of change were honored. More

You offer high-quality training, and it is time you were recognized. Maintaining your high standards isn't easy, but you have found it worth the effort. Similarly, meeting the IREC Standard for quality training is a rigorous process - both preparing for and undergoing the assessment. To help with this effort, IREC has new online tools to prepare a more complete application in three easy steps! More
ANSI-IREC Accreditation Workshop May 6-7
This day-and-a-half workshop will introduce interested stakeholders to the IREC Standard for Clean Energy Certificate Programs and address attendee's specific questions about the accreditation process. Participants will leave the workshop with a detailed plan to assemble a successful accreditation application. The workshop will be held at ANSI's Washington, DC office. Register via email to [email protected]
New Funding Focus on National Industry Partnerships to Close Skills Gap
On April 16, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the final round funding under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) initiative. Through TAACCCT, an additional $450 million will be available to community colleges and other eligible institutions and is focused on ensuring that students and workers have the knowledge and skills they need to work in the modern economy. More
The IREC Candidate Handbook is an invaluable reference to candidates as they prepare for and undergo the IREC assessment process and maintain their credential. Download the Handbook.
IREC's Solar Licensing Database is a web-based resource for policy makers, practitioners, consumers, and anyone else looking for solar licensing information in the U.S. In the database, licensing requirements for installing photovoltaic and solar thermal systems are documented for each state. To keep pace with changes, IREC updates the database weekly. Visit the database.
Of Note...


ACI National Home Performance Conference: IREC will be there!

The 2014 ACI National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show, April 29-May 1 in Detroit, is the conference where home performance professionals from every sector gather for an outstanding educational agenda, unparalleled networking opportunities, and the industry's largest trade show. Come by booth #611 and say hello!  More

Since 2011, the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN) Seminar Series has offered webinars on timely topics for the solar training community. On May 6, 2-3pET, join Solar Energy International's Rebekah Hren and Brian Mehalic for an in-depth conversation on operations and management strategies for PV, including tools and common procedures to ensure peak productivity, predictable ROI and PV system safety and longevity. This webinar is free. Register

If you're ready to apply for the IREC Credential, use IREC's Credentialing Management System (CMS). The latest CMS Reference Guide will help you understand the process. The CMS is also the portal to update personal information, upload supporting documents, check your progress and more. 

A group of well-established, nationally accredited credentialing organizations have united in their commitment to clean energy quality, safety and efficiency. The CECC encourages consumers, employers, energy incentive programs and other stakeholders to look for quality credentials as a distinguishing mark among the growing number of renewable energy and energy efficiency professionals, products, trainers and training programs. IREC is a proud founding member. To learn more, visit


About IREC
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) is a non-profit organization that believes clean energy is critical to achieving a sustainable and economically strong future. To pave this clean energy path, IREC works to expand consumer access to clean energy; generates information and objective analysis grounded in best practices and standards; and leads programs to build a quality clean energy workforce, including a unique credentialing program for renewable energy and energy efficiency training providers and instructors. Since 1982, IREC's programs and policies have benefitted energy consumers, policymakers, utilities and the clean energy industry. As of July 2013, IREC is an accredited American National Standards Developer.

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process that is referred to or linked to in this newsletter. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply IREC's endorsement or recommendation. 

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