Supervisor Benoit To Speak At Wednesday’s Solar Energy Class
PALM SPRINGS – Supervisor John J. Benoit will join students and representatives of College of the Desert (COD) and First Solar to celebrate the region’s first utility-scale solar training class held on Wednesday, April 28 from 3-4 PM at COD’s Desert Energy Enterprise Center in Palm Springs (3301 Micro Place, I-10 exit Gene Autry). First Solar, a leading manufacturer of photovoltaic solar panels, will partner with COD to train students for green jobs in the utility-scale solar projects coming to Riverside County.
“This public-private partnership arrives at the right moment when Riverside County’s deserts are under consideration for large solar developments,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “With such a bright future for the renewable energy industry here, we have an opportunity to prepare the 21st century workforce that will be needed for these projects.”
First Solar is donating solar equipment, hands-on training and curriculum development for COD’s Desert Region Renewable Energy Training Program. The COD program is reaching out to new workforce entrants, the unemployed and underemployed workers.
“As the region’s utility-scale solar energy industry grows, generation companies and their contractors, as well as unions, will be searching for skilled workers who understand solar installation and maintenance requirements,” said Larry McLaughlin, Director, Advanced Transportation Technology and Energy Center at COD.
“First Solar’s collaboration with COD is a great example of our commitment to working with education and the local community to support green jobs and provide a much needed boost to the local economy,” said Kim Oster, Director of Business Development for First Solar.