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Cathy Summa-Wolfe
, Director
Communications & Community Relations
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COM Launches New Solar Panel Certificate Program

Course to offer practical skills for photovoltaic panel installers

KENTFIELD, Calif.—June 24, 2008—To meet a growing demand for skilled workers in the solar industry, College of Marin has partnered with Skyline College and local industry professionals to launch a new Solar Technician Training Program starting in the fall.

COM will offer Solar Installation and Integration, a 3-unit introductory course, followed by other related courses in spring and summer.

“The Solar Installer Training Program will provide specialized learning opportunities for those working in construction, solar, and related fields,” said Superintendent/President Dr. Frances L. White. “Having trained technicians in the field is the first step in advancing the use of solar to homeowners and businesses.”

Clearly the program will meet an increasing demand in the local industry. The American Solar Energy Society projects that the renewable energy and energy efficiency industry will involve 25 percent of all domestic labor by 2030. That translates to about 40 million jobs.

The new program will give incumbent solar technicians or other people in related fields -- such as roofing, construction, and electrical work -- the practical skills and support they need to jumpstart their career.

The introductory course aims to provide a foundation of skills for entry-level photovoltaic installers. A balance of theory, practice and real world examples, the course is separated into three areas: electrical theory and practice; photovoltaic theory and integration; and building trade skills.

“This program is part College of Marin’s commitment to provide community members in the field the opportunity to take a step up the career ladder in this greatly expanding career field in green technology,” said Dean of Workforce Development and College-Community Partnerships Nanda Schorske.

The new course will be offered for the first time this fall semester on Saturdays beginning Sept. 6 through Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the College of Marin Indian Valley Campus, 1800 Ignacio Blvd., Novato. Students can register online at www.marin.edu. Prospective students, who are not working in related fields and are interested in the solar installation field, should contact julie.oyle@marin.edu for registration information.

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