Florida Governor Rick Scott (Rep) In A Show of Support For Solar Education And Advancement

Categories: Solar Energy, Laws & Government, Education, Green

Gov. Scott: Florida Job Growth Fund Awards First Grant to Manatee Technical College

BRADENTON, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott visited Manatee Technical College to announce that the college will be awarded the first $201,500 grant from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). This funding will support the purchase of high-tech equipment needed to expand the workforce training program in Advanced Manufacturing and Production Technology, which will help prepare more students for future career opportunities.

As part of the program, Solar Direct was selected to provide training for students to enter into the growing solar industry.  Recent reports indicate that Solar Employs More People In U.S. Electricity Generation Than Oil, Coal And Gas Combined.  Solar Direct will provide solar PV electric and solar thermal equipment for the students to install at the school as part of the training – giving them hands on experience.

Kirk Maust, Solar Direct CEO and Senior Engineer will provide two 12 week courses, and also provide Train-the-Trainer guidance to some of the advanced students and teachers so that they can offer continuing classes to upcoming students. Solar Direct is proud to help with community outreach, and is currently looking at similar programs with other Florida technical schools.

Gov. Scott took time to meet Kirk Maust and Oliver Baumgart, CSO of Solar Direct, to discuss the solar industry. He asked how national policies were affecting the industry here in Florida. We were happy to report that the Federal ITC (Investment Tax Credit) was up- held in the new Tax Package, which means consumers and businesses can continue to take advantage of the 30% Tax Credit on solar into 2020 and beyond. We also discussed the current Trade Case pending President Trump’s decision, in which a tariff could be imposed on imported solar modules – this could have a slight negative impact on Roof-top Solar in the short term. Scott said that he felt Trump would make the right decision.

On the top of Scott’s agenda are jobs for Florida. He strongly supports programs such as this, including solar, that can help move students into the workforce.  As Solar Direct continues to grow, the need for skilled technicians will be a top priority – and community training programs will help to fill that gap.

From L to R: Oliver Baumgart, Gov Rick Scott, Kirk Maust

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