Skills to Succeed in Solar

I used to consider myself a generalist.

I thought that is what might make me a good entrepreneur. I know a little about a lot of things, graphic design, programming, science, business, gardening, you name it. One day I took the Strengths Finder personality test. Three of my top five strengths have to do with learning and exploring ideas. Along the way I got involved in the Renewable Energy industry, specifically solar.

I never thought I would specialize in anything, but I’ve come to learn that those generalist skills of mine work well. The business of solar energy is an endless network of fascinating subjects. I’ve learned about subjects ranging from physics to business law. I’ve explored legislative processes to efficiency in the built environment. I’ve had lessons on logistics, and so much more.

This past Friday, a group of my peers elected me the chair of the Clean Energy Technology & Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee at Shoreline Community College. Don’t let that impress you, I think I’m just required to provide refreshments at the next meeting. The committee itself is an interesting group. I’ve never had the time to involve myself in something like it before.

The committee consists of educators, and other industry professionals. We help review curriculum to make sure the school is providing students with the right skills.

The last meeting was fascinating to me. We talked about just about everything a company might look for from math and finance to sales and design. We talked about a cultural shift away from the Trades to 4 year degrees. That cultural shift is creating a huge skilled labor shortage for companies like ourselves.

The amount of knowledge in that room was staggering. Even more staggering? Everyone’s desire to help the next crop of students be better prepared to work in Cleantech industries.

Whether you consider yourself a generalist or a specialist educational programs like those offered at Shoreline are an essential step to moving into a new industry. The program will give you a base level of knowledge that any employer would expect. If you are personally looking to get into Cleantech, I suggest you check out Shoreline’s Cleantech program. They are doing great things to get people prepared for work in our industry.