Solar company trains Pee Dee workers for growing industry - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Solar company trains Pee Dee workers for growing industry

The four-week solar panel installation course is part of Florence-Darlington Technical College's Continuing Education program. The four-week solar panel installation course is part of Florence-Darlington Technical College's Continuing Education program.

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - For the first time in South Carolina, a solar company is teaming up with a community college to provide training for solar panel installation, said Jim Hill, industry training program manager for Continuing Education.

Myers Crossing is hosting the four-week solar panel installation course as part of Florence-Darlington Technical College's Continuing Education program.

Nine students are currently taking the pilot course. They're learning how to install solar panels on roofs of houses or in solar farms and they're also learning the scientific processes behind solar energy.

"Solar panel is an up tapped resource in South Carolina," said Sam Rodriguez, who is taking the course. "We want to make sure that we're well prepared for it."

The students range in age and experience from recent high school graduates to trained electricians who are looking to further their knowledge of solar power.

The students also get first aid and OSHA training as part of the course.

"You're really ready when you leave this class to be able to tackle almost any job site in this industry," said Khalil Gary-Robinson, who works for Myers Crossing and teaches the lab component of the course.

Gary-Robinson said South Carolina is about to become a solar energy hub after the state passed a law last year laying the groundwork for renewable energy development.

"People get their money back on solar installations in five to seven years which is unlike anything we had in New Jersey," he said.

Myers Crossing is applying to put in a solar farm near Hartsville, which is why the company decided to host the course. The students who pass will have the chance to get jobs with that project if it goes through.

FDTC is already accepting reservations for the next course session, which should start in mid-May. Six people have signed up so far. Anyone can reserve a spot by contacting the Continuing Education office.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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