Helping low-income people and students around the world prepare for green jobs makes HeatSpring instructor Sean White proud.
White, instructor of HeatSpring’s Solar PV Boot Camp and NABCEP PV Associate Exam Prep course, is well suited for teaching people from all walks of life and across the globe.
He’s an expert who has penned numerous books about solar energy. He’s known for adding his own guitar music to his lessons, inventing solar jokes for his courses and quickly responding to students’ emails in detail. He was the 2014 Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Trainer of the Year.
A Year After Taking the Course, 50 Percent of Students Employed in Solar Industry
Through Solar Works D.C., a program of the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment, along with Grid Alternatives, White twice a year travels to D.C. to spend a week teaching low-income residents his boot camp course. His most recent success rate: A year after taking the course, 50 percent of his students were employed in the solar industry. He’s excited that his classes are helping change the lives of the students in the program.
“It makes me feel good to help out the low-income population in D.C. and Virginia,” he says. “They are also a lot more fun to teach than your typical serious group of engineers! The students have a lot of life experience and passion and getting a job in the solar industry makes them and their families very proud.”
As part of his outreach efforts, he also instructs–either in person or online–low-income residents in Philadelphia, as well as college students in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.
In the Philadelphia case, he’s a volunteer guest speaker for a friend’s solar course. A few times a year, White wakes up early for a Zoom call with instructor Spencer Wright, who was one of White’s students when White was the first solar instructor in Pennsylvania in 2008. The two have remained good friends, and both take pride in helping those in need and turning lives around. In a new partnership between HeatSpring and the Philadelphia Energy Authority, White and Wright are also providing access to White’s online Solar PV Boot Camp course to underprivileged students in the Philadelphia area.
Engineering Students in Saudi Arabia Embrace Online Learning
And in Saudi Arabia, White is instructing engineering students online through a special HeatSpring for Groups partnership.
“The students are all excited about the class,” says White. “The class helps college instructors who aren’t used to doing online training.” For this work, HeatSpring has set up a digital classroom specifically for these students. The students can interact with one another through the digital platform.
The boot camp course prepares students for the NABCEP PV Associate Exam, which is more popular than any other NABCEP exam. White works hard to ensure students receive the most up-to-date information possible.
Up-to-Date Practice Tests
The boot camp course includes tests that are very similar to those on the associate exam, and are available nowhere else, says White.
“The most updated practice exams in the universe are in the boot camp course,” he says. “I’m constantly updating the practice exam.”
Students Expected to Benefit from Solar’s Growth in 2021
With the new year and possibly a new president, the solar industry is expected to kick into high gear, says White. And he’s excited about the opportunities this may provide his students.
In fact, if Joe Biden wins the presidency, Biden has said he will “lead America to become the world’s clean energy superpower.” His focus will be on reaching a 100 percent clean energy economy and net-zero emissions by 2035. Even if Biden does not win, exponential growth is still expected, in part due to cost decreases in solar and storage.
“We’ll see a shift of even more money into solar and green jobs,” says White.
It’s clear that White’s students–from all walks of life– will be well prepared for that shift.
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