AUSTIN, Texas--(Michael Kuhn, President and CEO, ImagineSolar, spoke at Solar Austin’s Press Conference last week where a survey was released stating that Austin's solar industry supports over 615 direct full-time solar jobs. Adding standard jobs multipliers, the total direct and indirect employment supported by the Austin solar industry is 1,180 to 2,190 jobs.)--
“Local solar creates local jobs and provides energy for generations to come. ImagineSolar is developing an educated workforce prepared for the growing solar and smart grid industries.”
Through their solar incentive programs, Austin Energy has been an engine of economic growth for the clean energy industry in Austin. Their investment averaging $4 million annually over the past eight years now returns an annual payroll of over $20 million dollars to the Austin economy.
As an original member of the Austin Clean Energy Initiative (ACE) Steering Committee, Kuhn was pleased with the solar jobs survey. “It’s been well over a decade since we envisioned central Texas as a hub for clean energy,” Kuhn said. “These results show the power of investing to create economic clusters of innovative companies. The solar industry is a solid growth market for the next twenty years.”
Kuhn went on to say that “Local solar creates local jobs and provides energy for generations to come. ImagineSolar is developing an educated workforce prepared for the growing solar and smart grid industries."
Moving forward, Austin needs to establish a clear strategy to sustain the solar industry or risk loosing opportunities to create thousands of new solar jobs, lose present solar jobs to more active markets, and forfeit investment capital that would spur continued industry growth. Solar industry representatives say that without such a strategy, Austin Energy could starve the city's robust solar industry that is saving money for the utility and its customers.
ImagineSolar contributes to Austin's economic growth as a solar and smart grid training school that prepares participants for NABCEP certifications and clean energy careers. ImagineSolar is a fully licensed TWC school and an ISPQ accredited and TDLR approved Continuing Education Provider, guarantees of high-quality training. They train nationwide with live and online lectures, hands-on labs, online courses, employee training programs, and industry advisory services. For their 2012 course schedule, visit imaginesolar.com or call (888) 514-1972.