National residential solar + storage provider Sunrun today launched PowerU, a new fully-funded employee education and upskilling program designed to train and develop its workforce for the rapidly growing clean energy industry.
Through PowerU, Sunrun will nurture the next generation of green careers and professionals. The solar industry is currently on a trajectory to reach 400,000 jobs by 2030, but more than 900,000 skilled workers will be needed to reach President Joe Biden’s 2035 clean energy target. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the solar installer will be the third fastest-growing job in America over the next decade.
Sunrun has partnered with learning platform Guild Education to meet this demand and connect employees to opportunities for advancement by providing access to 150+ fully-funded and flexible education and upskilling programs. These programs include: bachelor’s and master’s degrees in areas such as sustainability management, electrical engineering, information technology and environmental science; professional development and graduate certificates in areas such as sales leadership, solar installation, supply chain management and data science; English language classes; high school completion courses; and an employer-sponsored electrician apprenticeship program.
The custom-built electrician apprenticeship program was designed to provide employees with a clear career pathway to become certified electricians — a designation often required for solar and battery installers. The program builds on Sunrun’s existing commitment to accelerate talent acquisition and strengthen workforce development to meet rising industry demand and build a strong and diverse workforce.
“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.”
PowerU enhances Sunrun’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and strengthens investment in communities that are traditionally underrepresented in the industry’s workforce. Sunrun has set goals to reach gender and racial representation parity in manager and leadership roles by 2025. PowerU is designed to eliminate barriers and increase access to opportunity, which will enable talent attraction and retention, as well as career mobility for employees. With PowerU, Sunrun will uniquely offer the opportunity to train, work, and move-up in one of the fastest growing industries globally.
Starting day-one of employment, all regular full-time and part-time Sunrun employees are eligible and will have access to an entire support system, including a team of certified education and career coaches who can help employees set goals, select programs, balance responsibilities, and evaluate career pathways.
“Our country is in a war for talent, one where we need to fill jobs today and build toward careers of tomorrow. We’re thrilled to partner with Sunrun, an innovative and forward-thinking company, to build a program that will attract talent and bring more people into green careers. At the same time, this will prepare Sunrun and Sunrunners for the future,” said Rachel Carlson, CEO and Co-Founder, Guild Education.
PowerU will offer career programs through learning providers including Brandman University, Colorado State University College of Business, eCornell, Johnson & Wales University, Oregon State University, Penn Foster, University of Arizona, Voxy EnGen, Wilmington University, and others. The electrician apprenticeship program was designed in collaboration with Penn Foster and Guild.