The solar pioneers of the Del Valle ISD Opportunity Center (DVOC) set an important precedent in the winter of 2021. They showed students how to take their power back through old school work-study programs. While the Department of Labor still tries to decide on the approval of national standards in solar apprenticeship programs, Texans are already accelerating a much-needed workforce. DVOC offers a glimpse of the immediate career opportunities many Texans have at their fingertips. The program at Del Valle is uniquely designed to provide access to jobs while promoting diversity and inclusion. McKinsey Studies have shown that workforce diversity and cultural inclusivity create stronger, more innovative, and more resilient organizations. Established in 2019, Solar Austin’s Pathways to Clean Energy Careers programs aim to target the industry’s lack of diversity by exposing students from underrepresented backgrounds to a wide array of sustainability-focused job opportunities. The program is designed to educate, prepare, and equip individuals with the resources and workforce development that they need to find upward mobility through a career in solar.

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