The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) and project partners are excited to announce the successful completion of its 2021 Rise Up Scholarship Campaign. The campaign raised $35,493, surpassing its $30,000 campaign goal.
The Rise Up Scholarship program expands access to workforce development opportunities in the renewable energy field by providing recipients with free, industry-leading solar technical training. Scholarships are made available to students ages 18-25 who are women, people of color, underemployed, and/or formerly incarcerated.
“With no prerequisites or previous experience required, the Rise Up Scholarship is a springboard into the renewable energy field,” said MREA Executive Director Nick Hylla. “We are grateful to the donors for the success of the Rise Up Scholarship campaign and the meaningful work it supports.”
Started in 2020, the Rise Up Scholarship Program supports solar workforce development efforts and expands employment access by providing solar design and installation training scholarships to students. Scholarship recipients receive free entry-level training with the ability to attain the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Associate credential. Recipients are encouraged to apply for paid solar internships following the training.
The MREA raised over $30,000 in private donations for the program in 2020. MREA used the funds to host four trainings in three cities across the Midwest reaching 37 students in 2021. The MREA anticipates reaching as many as 60 students through the program in 2022.
MREA’s Rise Up partner organizations in Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin are: the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program of Evansville, Ind.; Renewable Energy Partners of Minneapolis, Minn.; Soulardarity of Highland Park, Mich.; and Walnut Way Conservation Corps of Milwaukee, Wis. MREA coordinates with each partner to provide introductory information about the training program and career opportunities in the solar industry. The partners recruit training participants and work with MREA to support their success.
With a focus on job training and career placement in solar energy, MREA and its partners are advancing efforts to support local jobs and local investment in Midwest communities. To learn more about the scholarship program, including how to apply, visit riseupmidwest.org/work.
The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization. Founded in 1990, the MREA promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration.
Led by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), Rise Up Midwest is a coalition of businesses, individuals, organizations, jurisdictions, and workforce development partners working in coordination to create a groundswell of support for commonsense, strategic, and swift policy action and market development.
The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a well-respected certification organization for professionals in the field of renewable energy. NABCEP offers certifications and credentials for skilled professionals, specialists and those new to working in the areas of photovoltaics, solar heating, and small wind technologies. The first NABCEP Solar PV Installer certification exam (now called PV Installation Professional) was administered in 2003. Since then, NABCEP has launched and maintained 8 Board Certification Programs and 3 Associate credentials.