The Center for Energy Education is offering a five-week summer internship program for rising high school seniors in Halifax County.
The opportunity will be available to 10 female students and includes a $1,500 stipend.
The Empowering Young Women in Solar internship program will provide opportunities for the students to explore careers in the solar industry such as engineering, management, policy development, construction, manufacturing, and more.
In addition to providing information about career pathways, the program will provide one-on-one mentorship with women in the solar industry and women in nonprofit organizations.
Students will also visit solar company sites, meet legislators, and learn how to advocate for clean energy policies.
The program is sponsored in partnership with solar industry partners and non-profit organizations who share our goal of equipping young women with the tools to become solar industry professionals.
According to the U.S Department of Labor Statistics and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, women represented only 30 percent of the 231,474 solar industry employees in 2020, compared to the total United States labor force represented by women, which was 52 percent, according to the 2020 Solar Jobs Census.
“We saw a need and a high demand for women in the clean energy initiative,” said Executive Director Mozine Lowe.
According to her research and expertise, Lowe created this internship program with the intention of diversifying the future of the solar industry.
Lowe’s passion for education and employment for the surrounding communities were motivational factors for establishing this internship program. “It is important for young women to know that they have a place in the clean energy initiative, and young women deserve the chance to explore opportunities in lucrative fields such as engineering, project management, cybersecurity, and energy efficiency,” said Lowe.
“The current industry stats make it very clear that the solar industry is growing rapidly, and that women are not a part of the clean energy workforce in the numbers that are needed. By providing more thoughtful training and education to women and girls that starts in K-12 and continues into adulthood, we can bring more gender equity to the industry moving forward,” said Riley Neugebauer, a trainer with the Solar for Women & Footprint Project.
Neugebauer’s background working as a woman in solar installation and project management, have led her to create and partner on initiatives that give women more opportunities to explore solar in a safe and welcoming learning environment. “Given that C4EE already serves as an important resource in the region for clean energy training, it only makes sense that the organization could further build upon that work and offer programs targeting young women who may not have had other opportunities to explore these kinds of careers,” said Neugebauer.