Workforce Development Programs This project aligns with one or more Clean Energy Plan recommendations, including: Recommendation J-2, launch an EE apprenticeship program within ApprenticeshipNC to expand access to clean energy careers. Energy Efficiency Workforce Development As North Carolina undergoes a transition to a clean energy economy, the traditional energy workforce will change, and the clean energy workforce will continue to grow. Workforce development activities – such as apprenticeships, internships, certificate programs, and curricula – help create a sustainable pipeline of skilled and qualified workers. A coalition of universities, community colleges, state agencies, and educational non-profits led by NC A&T University are launching a clean energy workforce development program. Initially piloted in summer 2021 in three counties with the goal to rapidly deploy state-wide, the NC Clean Energy Program will provide on-the-job training and related education for clean energy and energy efficiency occupations. Long-term, it aims to develop clean energy pathways, including apprenticeships, certification programs, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees across the state. In Halifax County, this includes Halifax Community College and Halifax High School while in Guilford and Wake Counties 12 industry partners are hosting students. With the utilization of CARES Act Funding, NC DEQ and NC A&T launched pilot efforts focusing on energy efficiency and solar systems occupations in Guilford, Wake, and Halifax counties to support 30 high school, community college, and university students in hands-on training and education. In partnership with the NC Business Committee for Education, a consortia of clean industry businesses and education partners were identified to participate in this effort. Pilot efforts are intended to provide experiential learning for students, jumpstart industry engagement and curriculum development and deployment, and build relationships with education partners. In addition, it serves as an immediate industry recruiting mechanism for apprentices and entry-level positions. Leveraging these pilot efforts, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs will be registered with industry partners and related curricula will be developed to form career pathways into clean energy occupations. For more information, contact Star Hodge.