Houston‘s sweltering summer sun may be a dreaded inevitability for many of us, but it is a welcome sight for instructors of Houston Community College Central’s new, one-of-a-kind, solar energy program.
Starting Monday, August 26, HCC Central, in collaboration with HCC’s Department of Continuing Education, is offering a 16-week, one-semester, solar energy certificate program for students interested in starting a career in solar energy.
The solar energy program – the only one of its kind in the greater Houston area – is designed to provide students with hands-on training and critical information in solar technology as a renewable energy source.
“We’ve created this program because sustainable energy is our future, and we want to train new technicians for the new jobs being created in the sustainable-energy field,” says Paul Quinn, Associate Dean of Instructional Support, adding that the HCC Central program is the only one in the Houston area certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
HCC Central’s solar energy program will give students a solid background in solar energy, or photovoltaic (PV) installation as well as troubleshooting for solar panels. The program is part of the college’s Construction Trades courses, which also includes its highly regarded, state-of-the-art heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) program.
With temperatures soaring to new heights, along with Houston’s promising job market, the college’s solar energy program could not have come at a better time, Dean Quinn explains. There are many solar-installation businesses in Houston, says Quinn, and they are seeking installers for solar-energy panels.
“Students can now actually get jobs installing solar panels or troubleshooting solar installation,” says Dean Quinn. “Our students will come out with an understanding of where to put solar panels, how much sunlight is needed to power them, the difference of tying them to an electrical grid or using them as stand-alone energy sources.”
The Solar Foundation estimates that the U.S. solar industry employed 119,016 workers as of November 2012, which represents a 13.2% increase from November 2011.
HCC Central’s solar energy program will meet twice a week at the 1300 Holman Street campus four hours each day.
To register for classes or for more information, please call HCC Central’s Construction trades department at 713.718.6898 or email Dean Quinn at email@example.com.
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