President Biden has called for the U.S. to use 100% clean electricity by 2035. But a labor shortage could slow that plan. Not enough workers are trained to install and maintain solar and wind technology.

“I think for a very long time, we as a society have made an assumption that if we create the demand, there will be people there to build and implement the solutions that we set as a priority. That’s not the reality that we’re living in right now,” says Vaughan Woodruff, who leads workforce development at ReVision Energy, a New England-based solar installer.

He says a key to growing the workforce is debunking the false narrative that trade schools are for those who cannot succeed at traditional school.

“It’s deterred people who work well with their hands and are creative problem-solvers from going into careers that can support them for a very, very long time,” Woodruff says. “And it’s definitely a huge disservice to us now as workforce becomes a huge bottleneck in our efforts to combat the climate crisis.”

So he wants more young people to realize that clean energy jobs can both pay well and be fulfilling.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media