Sunrun launched a new fully funded education and upskilling program to train and develop a new workforce for the rapidly growing clean energy industry. The new program, PowerU, is pretty robust, covering everything from bachelor’s degrees to professional certificates. It was developed in partnership with Guild Education, an education and upskilling platform, to provide access to 150+ flexible education and upskilling programs.
Programs include: bachelor’s and master’s degrees in areas such as sustainability management, electrical engineering, information technology, and environmental science; professional development and graduate certificates in areas such as sales leadership, solar installation, supply chain management, and data science; English language classes; high school completion courses; and a first-of-its kind employer-sponsored electrician apprenticeship program.
The custom-built electrician apprenticeship program was designed to provide employees with a clear career pathway to become certified electricians — a designation often required for solar and home battery installers. The program builds on Sunrun’s existing commitment to accelerate talent acquisition and strengthen workforce development to meet rising industry demand and build a strong and diverse workforce.
“Sunrun’s new PowerU benefits program aims to empower thousands of Sunrunners to forge stable careers and prosperous futures,” said Sejal Patel Daswani, Sunrun Chief Human Resources Officer. “By launching PowerU and expanding solar workforce development, Sunrun’s PowerU will proudly lead the industry to meet ever-increasing demand for skilled clean energy professionals.”
The solar industry is currently on a trajectory to reach 400,000 jobs by 2030, but more than 900,000 skilled workers will be needed to reach President Joe Biden’s 2035 clean energy target. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the solar installer will be the third fastest-growing job in America over the next decade.
Sunrun has also set goals to reach gender and racial representation parity in manager and leadership roles by 2025, and the company says PowerU is designed to increase access to opportunity and paths to move-up in one of the fastest growing industries globally.
“Our country is in a war for talent, one where we need to fill jobs today and build toward careers of tomorrow. We’re thrilled to partner with Sunrun, an innovative and forward-thinking company, to build a program that will attract talent and bring more people into green careers. At the same time, this will prepare Sunrun and Sunrunners for the future,” said Rachel Carlson, CEO and Co-Founder, Guild Education.
Starting day-one of employment, all regular full-time and part-time Sunrun employees are eligible and will have access to an entire support system, including a team of certified education and career coaches who can help employees set goals, select programs, balance responsibilities, and evaluate career pathways.
PowerU will offer career programs through learning providers including Brandman University, Colorado State University College of Business, eCornell, Johnson & Wales University, Oregon State University, Penn Foster, University of Arizona, Voxy EnGen, Wilmington University, and others. The electrician apprenticeship program was designed in collaboration with Penn Foster and Guild.