Classes Begin at New Green Job Training Center in Chicago

Chicago’s new Sustainability Hub will train and employ 10,000+ local Illinois residents for solar careers

CHICAGO, May 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Sustainability Hub, a new Chicago job training center jointly developed by Power52’s Ecademy and 548 Enterprise (548), has proudly welcomed the first twenty trainees to its clean energy job training program.

With funding from Summit Ridge Energy (SRE), the Sustainability Hub is providing comprehensive job training and employment opportunities to local Illinois job seekers eager to start a career in the clean energy economy. Over the next ten years, the program will train 10,000+ residents, focusing on Veterans, Returning Citizens and high school educated residents from underserved communities.

Located in the West Side of Chicago, the Sustainability Hub will provide trainees with the skills needed to thrive in Illinois’ expanding solar industry. The participants will graduate from the program with solar technician certification and knowledge of how to design, construct, operate and maintain solar energy projects. The program also covers life skills such as conflict resolution and financial literacy, as well as basic construction skills like using power tools, soldering and pipe bending.

After completing the program, graduates will have the opportunity to participate in on-the-job training at solar projects located across Illinois, including more than 100 rooftop projects located in inner-city Chicago developed and owned by SRE, as well as projects developed by 548.

Chicago based community organizations have facilitated community outreach to connect local residents with the training program.

“The Sustainability Hub supports our mission of empowering Black communities across Chicago and the wider United States, and we’re already seeing its positive impact in our communities. The training is sharing important knowledge, resources and skills that are helping people prepare for careers in a rapidly growing industry,” said Rev. John Harrell, Black Men United.

“The individuals who have joined the training program are excited to learn skills that will empower them to work in the solar industry. Chicago Jesuit Academy was excited to refer several young men from the West Side of Chicago to the Sustainability Hub to help chart their path toward meaningful employment,” said Meg Mortensen, Chicago Jesuit Academy.

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), passed by the Biden-Harris Administration, has spurred investment and new partnerships in the clean energy industry, including the Sustainability Hub. However, the Treasury Department’s latest guidance around qualified Energy Communities hinders the construction of solar energy projects in many urban areas, including Chicago, which could affect the ability of the Sustainability Hub to place its trainees on local solar projects. Industry and job seekers are eagerly awaiting additional clarity related to the Energy Communities Tax Credit Bonus and other IRA provisions necessary to support urban solar development and the job creation that will come with it.

“This program is delivering clean energy training to prepare our graduates for careers in the green economy. These first twenty participants – of the 10,000 people that will walk through our doors over the next ten years – will design, construct and maintain the systems that provide clean, renewable and stable power to their neighbors. The underserved and marginalized communities that we serve will be the catalysts for the United States reaching its clean energy goals by 2050,” said Rob Wallace, President & CEO of Ecademy, and Co-Founder of Power52.

About Ecademy
Ecademy, a Power52 Company, prepares individuals for a career in the Renewable Energy industry.  Our craft instructors are committed to all students no matter their back story. With 52 Principles to Power resources as the foundation, our institute creates opportunities that give access to workforce options in this growing industry. Enrolling in one of our Renewable Energy Program Training Programs will help you navigate a career with power principles; life-skills; NCCER standardized curriculum; PV Solar curriculum to support obtaining NABCEP credentials; and curriculum to aid with navigating the Green Environment with project management skills. The Renewable Energy Professional Training curriculum is delivered in a HYBRID format for individuals. Learning both online and in-person, including hands-on laboratory experiences and On-the-Job-Training. For Anchor Institutions with population stakeholders who require workforce training, Ecademy will design, develop, and deliver custom curriculum solutions. For more information visit

About 548 Enterprises
Since inception, 548 has helped minority- and women-owned companies level up the playing field, helping minority-owned general contractors gain access to capital by facilitating introductions to financiers, and allowing their contracts to be leveraged by emerging GCs to access new lines of credit so they could grow their business. The 548 philosophy is to redevelop metropolitan communities by utilizing renewable and sustainable technologies, allowing us to create savings for families, lower environmental impact, and drive value for the community. For more information visit

About Summit Ridge Energy
Launched in 2017, Summit Ridge Energy is the nation’s leading commercial solar company. Through its strategic partnerships and project financing expertise, the company develops and acquires pre-operational projects within the rapidly growing solar energy and battery storage sectors. In the past five years, SRE has deployed over $1.6B USD into clean energy assets. With a development pipeline of more than 2 GW, SRE will have more than 400 MW of PV online by the end of 2023, providing solar power to approximately 50,000 homes. Learn more at

SOURCE Summit Ridge Energy

(PRNewsfoto/Summit Ridge Energy)

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