STEPs4GROWTH is a four-year, $23.7 million project funded by the Department of Commerce’s EDA-Good Jobs Challenge and led by the Center for Energy Research & Technology at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T). The program aims to connect clean energy industry partners with qualified apprenticeship candidates, providing opportunities for recent high school graduates, community college students, and four-year college students to gain hands-on experience.

With the clean energy industry continuing to expand, there is growing demand for workers with specialized skills and training. STEPs4GROWTH focuses on four clean energy sectors: energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean vehicles, and grid and resiliency.

The benefits for industry partners who participate in STEPs4GROWTH are clear: The program offers tailored development of potential hires that meets specific needs within the company, as well as financial incentives, such as wage reimbursement for apprentices and tax cuts for providing workforce training. This can make it a cost-effective solution for companies looking to recruit and train new workers in clean energy. Overall, STEPs4GROWTH is an important initiative that can help address the current skills gap in the clean energy industry and provide opportunities for the workforce.