August 13, 2018

Learn & Earn Solar Project at Diman Voc Tech

Sarah Beth Menck

For most high school students, the summer is a time to take a break in the hot months and sleep in.

Not for the students at Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School! This summer, nineteen students elected to participate in MassCEC’s Learn & Earn program —a program that allows high school students to integrate clean energy curriculum into their learning experience during the academic year and to participate in a paid working component during the summer months.

This summer, the students built a solar array for their school, allowing them to enhance welding, electrical, and other trade skills emphasized by Diman. MassCEC’s Workforce Development team, along with CEO Steve Pike, visited the students on August 7, 2018 to view their project and were met with enthusiasm for the nearly completed array.

After a viewing of the project, the students presented on the project’s timeline— and the unexpected setbacks they hit along the road. Despite discovering the need to build a fence around the project to comply with codes and uncovering a large amount of rock in the soil, the students forged ahead with a positive attitude. They even completed the project quickly enough to add the electrical work for a future electric car charging port in the lot.

While touring the facilities and workshops the school offers its students, it was easy to see the expertise these students have as they maneuver their way around heavy equipment. Several students are especially enthusiastic about their trade and chose to compete in national skills competitions to showcase their talents. If these students choose a clean energy profession the industry will be lucky to have them!