Pineapple Energy Announces Success in Labor Force Training Initiative

Source: 1/31/2023, Location: North America

• Partnership with a New York community college designed to empower next generation skilled workers
• First-of its-kind initiative designed for workforce placement immediately upon graduation
• First graduating class of 12 with five hired full-time by SUNation
• One of many programs that fulfill Pineapple’s commitment to social responsibility

Pineapple Energy Inc., a leading provider of sustainable solar energy and back-up power to households and small businesses, announced an initiative led by recently-acquired SUNation that aims to expand access and training for the next generation of workers in the solar energy industry.

The new training program, orchestrated by SUNation founder Scott Maskin, partners with Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) in New York to form a public-private partnership. It features a short curriculum coupled with a paid externship and a guaranteed job interview once the student successfully completes the 60-hour course. Taught by practitioner instructors employed in the solar industry, the curriculum includes OSHA safety training, knowledge of tools, job site protocol and products. Students work 16 hours side-by-side with different levels of field personnel on jobsites. The first class graduated in [January 2023], consisting of 12 students, five of whom were subsequently hired by SUNation.

“I became fatigued with the endless discussions surrounding the labor shortage in our industry, and decided to do something about it,” said Scott Maskin, SUNation founder. “We spent four months developing the syllabus, gathering the training materials, and negotiating the partnership with SCCC. Early results have been wonderful. The 12 seats in the initial class were filled in just three weeks, all of them completed the program, and five landed jobs with us, [while the other seven were offered jobs in the industry.]

Maskin continued, “Industry leaders noticed a spike in interest in solar jobs immediately after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. Thousands of people across the country would like the opportunity to learn valuable new skills that can lead to a good-paying jobs in a thriving industry. We think this program is scalable and can be expanded across the country to many industry roles. This program is a win for those folks, and for employers like us who need the talent.”

Pineapple CEO Kyle Udseth commented, “This program is one of many initiatives we are undertaking to better fulfill our mission to operate in a socially responsible manner. SUNation’s program comes at the perfect time, as industry growth driven most recently by the Inflation Reduction Act creates a growing need for more skilled labor. This program empowers students eager to enter the workforce, creating skilled workers on their way to a bright future in the one of the highest growth industries in the world. Over time, we intend to expand this program across our growing geographic footprint, benefitting the communities in which we operate.”

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