On August 1, The Chicago Community Trust released a request for proposals (PDF) for a $3 million solar training pipeline program funded by Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd). The RFP calls for qualified organizations to design a program that:
- Recruits and enrolls people from “priority groups”: people with a criminal record and current and former foster children, with at least 50 percent of trainees recruited from environmental justice communities, which are predominately minority or low-income communities that are negatively and disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards;
- Provides a pathway for trainees to enter solar industry careers, with an emphasis on rooftop and utility-scale PV installation, through hands-on training, relevant certifications, or both;
- Coordinates with the Illinois Solar for All (PDF) low-income installation program and other workforce development initiatives;
- Partners with employers on job placement, resulting in 2,000 placements for trainees by 2029.
This is a statewide funding opportunity. Public, private and nonprofit solar workforce service providers with an established presence in Illinois are encouraged to apply. Due to the broad program objectives and desire for an integrated training pipeline, organizations applying in partnership with sub-grantees or leveraging other funding sources will be more competitive.
Proposals are due by September 30, 2017. For more information, vist The Chicago Community Trust RFP web page.