Solar panel and storage leader Sunrun has announced the launch of PowerU, a fully-funded employee education and training program for its workforce. The company currently has more than 4,800 employees.
Sunrun joins the growing list of companies establishing company-wide sustainability education programs. Deloitte, for instance, announced earlier this month it is rolling out a climate literacy program to all of its 330,000 employees. The new digital program is being developed in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. In May, General Motors (GM) announced the launch of its GM Automotive Manufacturing Electric College (AMEC). To support the automaker’s clean energy transformation including 30 new electric vehicles by 2025 and hitting zero tailpipe emissions by 2035, many of its employees will receive electric vehicle training through AMEC.
According to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), the U.S. solar industry employed 231,474 workers in 2020 and is projected to reach 400,000 solar jobs by 2030. In addition, solar employment will need to exceed 900,000 workers by 2035 to reach the 100% clean electricity goal set by President Biden.
Sunrun is developing the PowerU initiative in collaboration with Guild Education, including degree programs in a wide range of sustainability, energy and environment fields, as well as professional development and certificate offerings. Employees interested in a career as an electrician can earn a technical certification through PowerU. All regular full-time and part-time Sunrun employees will be eligible for the education program beginning on the first day of their employment.
Additional partners supporting the learning intuitive include, but are not limited to, Brandman University, Colorado State University College of Business, eCornell, Johnson & Wales University, Oregon State University, Penn Foster, University of Arizona, Voxy EnGen, and Wilmington University.
“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.”