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Workforce Development Institute Partners with Non-Profit to Bring Solar Power to Troy Homes

CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8072,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, August 14, 2015

WDI students assist on solar panel installation.
WDI students assisting on a solar panel installation.
WDI students assisting on a solar panel installation.
Hudson Valley Community College’s Workforce Development Institute (WDI) is partnering with a national non-profit organization that aims to bring solar power to low-income households.

For about a decade, the workforce training arm of Hudson Valley has been providing a variety of credit-free training courses in solar panel installation. WDI courses cover everything from basic electricity to advanced installation skills. GRID Alternatives, whose goal is to increase access to solar power and drive more people towards careers in alternative energy, approached the WDI as it expanded its mission into upstate New York earlier this year.

In early August, a homeowner on Fifth Avenue in Troy was chosen for the first GRID Alternatives installation in upstate New York, and several Hudson Valley students were there to help out and gain some hands-on experience. The installation took place on August 6-7.

“It was great that we were able to reach out to the folks at WDI because we knew they would be able to help us find some volunteers to help out,” said GRID Alternatives’ tri-state executive director Kate Shackford.

According to Hudson Valley WDI student Jacob Tobin, the experience of a real world installation was valuable. “I have always been drawn to renewable energy, and I can see this as a future career,” he said.

WDI is set to assist the non-profit with any future installations in the City of Troy and around the region.

Growth in the solar industry has been dramatic over the past several years. Governor Cuomo announced earlier this year that the growth of solar in New York State has increased more than 300 percent from 2011 to 2014, which is twice the rate of U.S. solar growth overall. With that increase, there has been an equal rise in the need for qualified solar panel installers.

For more information about photovoltaic installation courses offered through the Workforce Development Institute, call (518) 629-7338 or e-mail

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 75,000 alumni.

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