Contractors can get comprehensive solar training at National Solar Conference

RALEIGH, N.C. — The American Solar Energy Society (www.ases.org), the nation’s oldest solar association focused on advocacy, adoption and advancement of solar energy, is offering one of the industry’s most comprehensive and affordable training opportunities for installers at its annual National Solar Conference, Solar 2011, in Raleigh, N.C., May 17-21. This is the 40th consecutive year ASES has held its conference, which brings together academics, government agencies, installers, manufacturers, consumers and others invested in solar’s future.

In partnership with National Solar Trainers (www.nationalsolartrainers.com), a leading provider of unbiased solar education, ASES’s Solar and You! training will provide installers and other interested participants skill development in advanced topics in solar technology, business management, market trends, residential and commercial installation, and more during early-conference training sessions May 17-18.

“If there were just one professional development event a person currently working in or interested in working in solar should attend, this is it,” explained Shaun McGrath, newly appointed executive director of ASES. “This is the single place interested people can develop in-demand skills, forge valuable new connections and advance their solar careers.”

The National Solar Conference is the longest-running educational event for solar energy professionals in the U.S. Now in its 40th year, the Solar 2011 program has been developed by solar energy experts in all topical areas — technology, buildings, policy, professional education, workforce development and consumer education. More than 5,000 attendees are expected.

As an exclusive to CONTRACTOR readers, ASES will offer $250 off the price of the full conference. Registration is available at http://www.nationalsolarconference.org/solar2011/public/Content.aspx?ID=74&sortMenu=110000. Enter the discount code “CONMAG.”

The Society is also offering CONTRACTOR readers 25% off the price of ASES membership. Basic membership is $39, the discounted rate, $29. Professional membership is $89, but the discounted rate is $66.75. Go to http://ases.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=157&Itemid=7 for membership information. The discount code is “Conf2011.”

“We strongly encourage early registration for our Solar and You! training due to limited capacity,” reinforced ASES’s Kate Hotchkiss, the National Solar Conference director. “Training sessions we have offered with larger capacity at recent national conferences have sold out weeks before the conferences started.”

“NST has trained thousands of people” explained Lars Rudstam, NST’s marketing manager. “This is the best program we’ve ever created.”

“We’ll offer a more extensive, hands-on training and professional development than any other conference in the solar industry,” continued Hotchkiss. “If you want to become part of the green economy as an installer, this is the must-attend conference and training session.”

The conference will also provide a “Green Career Resource Center,” staffed by the N.C. Capital Area Workforce Development Board’s JobLink Career Center in Raleigh. Green job seekers will find employment listings, resume and interview advice.

The four primary Solar and You! sessions include advanced workshops on commercial and utility-scale solar PV; a “Solar MBA” on best business practices for solar installers; courses on the design, applications, and markets for Solar PV; and courses on the design, applications, and markets for solar thermal.

Registration for Solar and You! training is underway. Additional information is available at www.nationalsolarconference.org, or by calling 303/443.3130.

National Solar Trainers, an Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)-accredited continuing education provider, will conduct all the training. Participants will receive hands-on experience on a mock roof-training lab, provided by the U.S. Solar Academy. Students will be able to earn in a single conference all 18 NABCEP continuing education credits needed for recertification. (NABCEP is the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.)

Established in 1954, the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society is the nation’s leading association of solar professionals and grassroots advocates. Supported by more than 12,000 members, ASES advances research, education, and policy. ASES publishes the Solar Today magazine, presents the National Solar Conference, encourages citizens to build a solar nation, and leads the National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event at www.ases.org.

National Solar Trainers LLC is the only exclusively business-to-business training provider in the solar industry. It provides trainers, curriculums, and consulting services for dozens of training programs, including manufacturers, contractors, solar academies, non-profits, and colleges, which in turn train thousands of students. Additional information is available at www.nationalsolartrainers.com.

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