Introducing our New Solar Equity Program

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Workforce development. Solar-powered affordable homes. Equitable futures.

 

Program Vision

Our new Solar Equity Program will train and employ a diverse workforce in the renewable energy sector. This program will help to mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving human health and the environment by decreasing air and water pollution. It will promote energy justice and equitable futures for all by powering affordable homes with solar energy while creating jobs and economic development in underserved communities most affected by climate change. The renewable energy field has historically lacked diversity and representation within minority and workforce communities. We want to change that.

The world must transition to renewable energy for the health of our planet. This transition and energy system should be equitable, affordable, and accessible so that everyone regardless of race, nationality, income or geographic location can help steer this process.

Organization Overview

Be a Helping Hand, (BHH) is a minority-led affordable housing development nonprofit in Nashville working to empower families and build strong communities by providing safe, affordable housing, person-centered support, and green initiatives. Our organization was founded in 2001 originally as a successful workforce development program designed to provide education in the building trades for Nashville’s underrepresented communities. 

We are happy to announce that we are bringing our workforce training back as part of our Spreading the Wealth of Nature Program with a focus on renewable solar energy and efficiency. 

Solar Equity Program Summary

The purpose of introducing the Solar Equity Program is to draw on the original vision of Be a Helping Hand as a workforce development program by training participants to build and install solar arrays plus battery storage on affordable homes. Participants will learn the technical skill sets, and receive the tools required for entry-level positions within the renewable energy industry. The training course will include classroom instruction followed by on-the-job training installing solar systems for affordable housing.  Participants will have the opportunity to earn NABCEP and OSHA credentials following their training. Job placement/retention assistance and soft skills training will be provided. 

These solar systems plus battery storage will increase affordability of housing by significantly lowering energy bills, generating clean electricity and improving air quality. Battery storage allows residents to own their solar energy surplus to be available in the event of a disaster or power outage. 

Scope/Goals

The goal of the Solar Equity Program is to start specific and local, but to continue to develop into a more multi-faceted, far-reaching network through partnerships with other similar organizations. During the first phase of the roll-out of the Solar Equity Program, the goal will be for our participant-trainees to add solar arrays plus battery storage to new affordable homes built by Be a Helping Hand. During the final phase, participant-trainees from the Solar Equity Program will be subcontracted to install solar arrays on affordable houses built by BHH and our partner organizations.  We will lead the way towards equitable clean energy, economic empowerment, and affordable housing for the environmental justice communities in Nashville who stand to benefit the most.