ERIC Number: ED195783
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: N/A
An Occupational Demand for Specialized Solar Workers: Myth or Fantasy?
Ward, William Gary
Although some junior colleges and technical schools are creating or planning to offer training for solar-energy related occupations, there is no definitely defined need for workers with such training, according to this study. The study was conducted through a direct mailing of questionnaires about occupational projections to 472 companies identified as being involved in the "solar industry." Of this mailing, 102 questionnaires were returned and sixty usable responses (13%) were collected. A telephone follow-up to non-respondents indicated that the companies had only a passing interest in solar energy or that the market was too unstable to be able to predict the future. An analysis of the data indicated that (1) an emergence of new and specialized occupations across a solar industry will not occur in the near future; (2) of those firms listing employees as solar energy technicians, installers, or others, most were using existing trade persons, such as plumbers, as installers; (3) of those firms listing solar electrical technicians as a need, their responses were tied to future technical break-throughs. The study recommended that educators not invest additional dollars to establish solar training programs, but move to include solar installation and maintenance skills in training for heating and air conditioning, refrigeration, plumbing, or other related fields. (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Kansas State Dept. of Education, Topeka. Div. of Vocational Education.
Authoring Institution: Pittsburg State Univ., KS.