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In this issue | May 2014



by Pat Fox, IREC Director of Credentialing Development

Pat Fox





Water: Essential to Life



The need to have a strong connection between business and education is everywhere.  The success of building a workforce for clean energy and other sustainable technologies depends on it.


Recently, I've been learning about the growing field of education and training for water management and technologies.  Water is essential to life and, in the western world, we've come to expect and depend on ready accessibility and high quality.  Water is in our kitchens, bathrooms, bottles and swimming pools - clean and abundant.  


However, the world of water is changing.  Extreme weather causes high flow situations, which our current infrastructure cannot handle.  We have increased our water consumption.  The increase in nutrients from fertilizer (nitrogen and phosphorus) and non-flushable products is stressing our treatment methodologies. 


These issues are all compounded by the fact that our workforce is aging along with our infrastructure.  New technologies and new skills are required as waste water management is redefined for resource recovery, focused not just on clean water, but also recovery of biosolids for fertilizer, and waste heat (from the treatment process) for energy.


Fortunately, as presented in the webinar Community Colleges, Education, and the Impending Water Crisis, hosted by the AACC SEED Center (American Association of Community Colleges, Sustainability Education and Economic Development), business and education are working to set the foundation for training to meet these workforce needs. The curriculum for water management is being reconstructed. 


The ATEEC (Advanced Technology Environmental Energy Center) has been working with industry to update the field and the job categories. And, working with educational providers, six regional water conservation forums are being held to understand the needs in different parts of the country, including at: Lane Community College, Bristol Community College, Central Carolina Technical College, Cuyamaca College, Red Rocks Community College, and Eastern Iowa Community College.


From these forums, it has become clear that the issues related to water are regional. In Colorado, water rights issues are at the forefront, while in the northeastern United States the issue of pipelines, which were built to last 80 years and are now over 100 years old, is a bigger issue.


Effective training and skills development that prepares a workforce to address these issues is all about the linkage between industry and education. Define the jobs, define the skills required for those jobs (preferably through a job task analysis), then develop the curriculum to teach these skills. These are the basics.


The IREC Credentialing Program provides the framework to assess the quality of training in all clean energy and sustainability technologies, including water. With the development of the six regional water conservation forums, we believe the water industry is taking the right first steps. 


We'll continue to watch these activities - particularly how the industry and business work together  - and the impact it has on the development of effective, quality training for the workforce.  The success of this linkage affects all of us - something to think about as you sip your next glass of water.



5/19-22 | SunShot Grand Challenge Summit 2014

Anaheim, CA
2-3p ET


6/9 | World Accreditation Day Webinar



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


6/23-25 | PV America East
Boston, MA
2-3p ET



San Francisco, CA
2-3p ET
9/18-19 | ANSI-IREC Accreditation Workshop
Washington, DC


Las Vegas, NV



Visit IREC's online calendar for more events.
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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.  

Thank You Mr. President: More Support for Training Programs at Community Colleges Will Ready More Workers for Solar Jobs
Image: White House
May 9 was a momentous day for solar energy with one giant announcement kicking off a new set of promising and proven actions. Some of these headline initiatives included innovative financing for deploying solar, two billion dollars in energy efficiency investments for federal buildings, improving appliance efficiency, strengthening building codes and, drumroll please, additional investment in building a competent solar workforce. More

Newsmaker Interview: Gwenn Weiser, Green Jobs Academy (MA), Making a Difference with Weatherization Training

The South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) Green Jobs Academy (GJA) offers education and hands-on training to installers, crew chiefs, auditors, quality controllers and contractor/owners, providing a career path in the growing field of weatherization and conservation. As director of the GJA, Gwenn Weiser manages and coordinates the weatherization and conservation training programs. Though she's furiously busy, she made time to visit with us about GJA's work. SMOC's GJA is an IREC Accredited Training Provider for its retrofit installer technician, crew leader and quality control inspector courses. More

ANSI-IREC Accreditation Workshop 9/18-19
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]

You have extensive experience in the clean energy field and in the classroom. You've been at this a while, and want to demonstrate the depth and quality of your experience. You should stand out in the shrinking post-ARRA training market. You hold NABCEP, BPI, RESNET or another industry certification, but want to showcase the impact you make in educating the workforce of tomorrow. If this sounds like you, it is time to apply for IREC certification.

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
Thinking about applying for the IREC credential? You'll find everything you need to know in the IREC Candidate Handbook, an invaluable reference to candidates as they prepare for and undergo the IREC assessment process and maintain their credential. Download the Handbook.
map of the US 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...

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


World Accreditation Day

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board are holding a free webinar from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 9, to mark the U.S. Celebration of World Accreditation Day 2014. Register

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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