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David Lawless, a solar instructor from Kennebec Valley Community College in Maine, shows McCann students tools of the trade.
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The Maine college hosts the Solar Instructors Training Network for the Northeast.

McCann Electricity Students Get Crash Course In Solar

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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McCann students pose with the solar panels they learned to mount using a sample roof.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical students in the electrical program partook in a solar installation training course.

David Lawless, a solar instructor from Kennebec Valley Community College in Maine, brought the school's "Solar Bus" to McCann last week to teach electrical and some carpentry students some tips and tricks from the field and actually install some panels on a practice ground-mounted "roof."

Electricity instructor Don Tatro said the program provides students with another venue in which they can take their McCann electrical education.

"It demonstrates how renewable energy works and, being in the electrical field how, it pertains to it this," Tatro said. "This can continue on with them in the future because we do have students out there in the field right now."

Kennebec Valley hosts the Solar Instructors Training Network for the Northeast. The program, which was established by the U.S. Department of Energy, provides instructors with training to relay to students to help prepare those interested for the solar industry. Tatro, who has more than 20 years' experience in the solar industry, utilized the program.

Lawless said the program "jump starts" students and gives them hands-on experience with the technology they often would not get just in an electricity program.

"I am giving these guys little tips and tricks so when they are out there with their new employer or contractor they are that much more aware of these utilities," Lawless said. "They would typically learn this on the job in the field, and this just gives them a boost."

Tatro said solar and other renewable energy technologies and training is a growing aspect of the McCann education. He said McCann does a great job providing students with the knowledge they need to take advantage of new opportunities in their trades, especially in the ever-changing renewable energy field.

"We talk about the carbon footprint that we are leaving behind and how to reduce it because when they get to be my age they are going to want a clean planet for their children and generations to come," he said.  

Tags: electrical,   McCann,   solar,   vocational program,   

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