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Production Spaces
November 14, 2016

Get certified with NYDesigns’ Solar Plus Pro and Urban Future Lab’s Advanced Diploma in Clean Energy

As New York City continues its evolution into an advanced manufacturing hub, workforce development is a top priority. Sectors like wood fabrication and electronics manufacturing are growing at 38% and 26.7% respectively. Across the country, there are about 380,000 open manufacturing jobs, and filling them relies on the combination of skilled workers deep training.  We took a look at a pair of professional manufacturing certification programs across New York City that are preparing the workforce for a career in advanced manufacturing.

NYDesigns’ Solar Plus Pro
NYDesigns in Long Island City is an incubator, coworking space and fabrication lab that companies like Sunhouse, Botfactory and Vengo Labs call home. NYDesigns also offers Solar Plus Pro, a solar-panel certification program that prepares workers for careers in the growing solar photovoltaic (PV) industry. Solar employment’s doubled since 2010, with 200,000 Americans working in the field, and is expected to double again by 2020.

NYDesigns is helping prepare New Yorkers for that growth with its 96-hour, eight-week course. First, students learn the basics in photovoltaic math and electronics. Then, NYDesigns’ Leon Ashkenazie says, the class goes into the fundamentals of panel design and installation. For the third part of the class, students can choose to learn the entire installation process including hands-on training with partners that have included SolarCity. Or, they can train up on the business side with lessons in photovoltaic sales, marketing and communication strategies.

Professor Anthony Alexander, formerly a photovoltaic instructor at Bronx Community College, teaches the class in both Spanish and English. Solar Plus Pro is subsidized through a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) grant and costs $920, or less than $10 per hour. There are eight to fifteen students in each of NYDesign’s three yearly cohorts. Explore the Solar Plus Pro class here.


Urban Future Lab’s NYU Clean Start Diploma Program
The Advanced Diploma in Clean Energy is a one-semester program for New Yorkers looking to gain the skills required for cleantech-sector careers. The program is developed and offered in tandem with NYU Tandon School of Engineering and hosted in Downtown Brooklyn. 2017 classes kick off in February and curriculum includes Foundations of Clean Technology, Clean Energy Entrepreneurship, Analytics for Energy Professionals, Clean Energy Capstone Project: Putting Knowledge to Practice and JobFocus: Clean Energy.

The Advanced Diploma in Clean Energy mixes real-world simulations with case studies. It’s designed to empower students with job skills like energy data analysis, basic financial modeling, value prop identification and biz dev strategies.  

Tuition is $2,750 although US veterans can earn a full waiver and other candidates can get up to $1750 in reduction. The Advanced Diploma in Clean Energy is funded by NYSERDA and instructors include NYU Professor Lucas Finco, a former energy specialist at Con Ed, and HEVO (Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Optimization) CEO Jeremy McCool. Learn more about the Advanced Diploma in Clean Energy here.

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