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New MREA scholarships to support solar training in underserved areas

MREA Instructor Alex Jarvis, teaches PV 101 to students from the NAACP in Evansville, Indiana this past August, through the MREA's Rise Up Giving Scholarship program.

Alex Jarvis, an instructor with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, teaches PV 101 to students from the NAACP in Evansville, Indiana, in August through MREA’s Rise Up Giving Scholarship program. (Photo courtesy of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association)

The Midwest Renewable Energy Association is bringing solar technical training and workforce development opportunities to four Midwest partnering organizations.

MREA’s partner organizations each serve low- to moderate-income neighborhoods in Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. This Rise Up Scholarship Program is intended to support solar workforce development and strengthen employment in advanced energy by providing scholarships for renewable-energy training and paid solar internships to students. Since the program’s start in 2020, MREA has offered four training sessions in three cities throughout the Midwest, reaching 35 students and has commitments to offer more training in 2021.

The MREA’s partners include:

  • NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program of Evansville, Indiana;
  • Walnut Way Conservation Corps of Milwaukee;
  • Soulardarity of Highland Park, Michigan; and
  • Renewable Energy Partners of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

MREA works with each partner to provide introductory information about the training program and career opportunities in the solar industry. The partners help recruit training participants and work with MREA to support their success.

To raise money for the scholarship program, MREA started the Rise Up Giving Campaign in September with a goal of raising $30,000 to offer 30 training scholarships to students in places with persistent and high unemployment. The training program provides each scholarship awardee free entry-level training with the ability to attain the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners PV Associate credential. Recipients are also encouraged to apply for a select number of paid solar internships following the solar training.

MREA surpassed its campaign goal, raising $30,675 from over 230 donors.

To learn more about the program, visit www. midwestrenew.org/riseupgiving. If your organization is interested in partnering with MREA to offer scholarships in your local community, contact Greta Ladenthin at gretal@midwestrenew.org.

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