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August 20, 2014
Learning on the Job in Lawrence
One of the more common critiques that we at MassCEC hear over and over again from employers is that students need to be receiving education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at a younger and younger age in order to prepare themselves for jobs in the rapidly expanding clean energy economy.
To help tackle this challenge, the Greater Lawrence Technical School is using funding from MassCEC's Learn and Earn pilot program, which enables high school students to participate in paid internships at their respective high schools and work on clean energy projects over the summer months. Students at Greater Lawrence are currently working on ground-level practice roofs installing solar electric systems, with their final project being a fully-functional solar array at their school.
Greater Lawrence is a prime example of a school using all of the resources available to it in order to better prepare its students for the future. Leveraging expertise from the recent Solarize Andover initiative, as well as local employers and educational partners, Greater Lawrence aims to take advantage of the community’s experience with installing solar systems so that students can learn about the technology that comprises the largest segment of renewable energy employment in the Commonwealth. Crucially, this program also seeks to alleviate another common major issue: teen summer unemployment.
The summer Learn and Earn program is designed to carry over into the fall and spring to ensure that students remain interested as they move forward with their education. Not only will students be gaining hands-on experience working with clean energy systems, but they will also be realizing that a summer job can be just as educational as it can be financially rewarding!