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EGEB: A Florida nonprofit ran a solar boot camp with guaranteed jobs for 27 young adults

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • A Florida solar boot camp provides guaranteed jobs for young adults.
  • The Swiss government says it can reach net zero by 2050 – with fossil fuels.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

Solar boot camp

The solar field at the Student ACES Center in Belle Glade. Photo: Student Aces

Florida Power and Light (FP&L) and nonprofits Student ACES and Project Life ran a four-week solar boot camp for 27 young adults ages 18-25 in July. Moss Construction, Garcia Development, and GameChange Solar were also involved in the program.

The students came from economically challenged communities in Florida’s Palm Beach and Martin counties. At the end of the training, the students were guaranteed entry-level positions with solar contracting companies in Florida, and all now have jobs in solar.

The solar boot camp taught solar construction and essential leadership and life skills.

FP&L donated solar panels, and students also visited one of the utility’s solar farms that Moss Construction is building. Students also undertook a 10-hour OSHA safety certification.

Lavince Augustin, a Belle Glade resident and graduate of Glades Central, told the Palm Beach Post:

This project means everything to me. It allows me to pursue a career and provide for my family. I’ve learned a tremendous amount of knowledge about myself and how to deal with leadership cases and about my character.

Read more: A Florida utility ditches coal, doubles its solar, and leaves out a big part of its story

Switzerland and fossil fuels

The Swiss government stated on Wednesday that it’s in a “good position” to achieve net zero by 2050 – without banning the use of fossil fuels. According to RT:

The Glacier Initiative, a climate action campaign group, submitted a message to the Swiss parliament on Wednesday, ordering the government to phase out fossil fuels, implement a linear reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and implement a framework for society and the economy by 2050.

In a swift response, the Swiss government rejected the proposal, declaring it unnecessary as the country is already on course to hit its target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Switzerland has a direct democracy system, and the Glacier Initiative collected enough signatures in 2019 for a binding vote to be held, which is due to take place in 2024.

The Swiss government said in a statement [via Reuters]:

As a particularly affected Alpine country Switzerland has a vested interest in limiting climate change.

However, the initiative goes too far for the Federal Council [government] in certain areas. Switzerland is strong in innovation and finance and therefore in a good position to achieve the net zero target by 2050.

Do you think Switzerland would be able to achieve net zero by 2050 without giving up its fossil fuel habit? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: Student ACES

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.