Burns & McDonnell get DOL approval for solar construction apprenticeship program

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Solar EPC Burns & McDonnell Received approval from the U.S. Department of Labor for a new nationwide Open Shop Solar Apprenticeship Program aimed at addressing chronic shortages of skilled workers in the construction industry. This approval will allow Burns & McDonnell to immediately begin a program that will enable it to provide the skilled labor needed at utility-scale solar sites under an apprenticeship program.

Courtesy of Barnes and McDonnell

“This is an important program that will help address the chronic shortage of construction workers across the country,” he said. Brett Williams, President of Construction, Burns & McDonnell. “With skilled workers leaving the industry, there is a huge gap to fill and apprenticeships offer a great opportunity to learn on the job and build our artisan workforce pool.”

The program will be extended to automatically enroll apprentices in non-union construction workshops in a variety of specialties, including equipment operators, substation construction, underground power infrastructure, switchgear, trenching and craftsmanship.

The program will be a key component for project owners seeking the recently passed economic incentives. Inflation control law (IRA). The IRA expands production and investment tax credits to encourage the building of a range of clean energy technologies. The IRA’s provisions provide bonus credits for projects that comply with federal general wage provisions. Davis-Bacon Act Utilize apprentices registered with the project team.

With the approval of the Solar Apprenticeship Program, Burns & McDonnell now complies with the IRA’s obligations for both open shop and union labor through the union’s self-enforcement department. Azuko.

“The passage of the IRA will be one of the biggest strides forward for an industry that has experienced a lot of uncertainty over the years,” he said. Adam Bernardi, Burns & McDonnell Renewable Energy Engineer – Procurement – Sales and Strategy Leader for Construction Projects. “The number of projects under construction will grow exponentially. I am excited.”

“The United States is undergoing an energy transition, and solar projects and programs are demanding more workers than the country has ever seen,” he said. Jeff Allen, Vice President of Construction, Burns & McDonnell. “Having him in one of Solar’s first apprenticeship programs helps meet that demand.”

Apprenticeships have played an important role in the development and support of the American economy. The program allows workers to receive a salary while being trained for highly skilled jobs in demand in many construction sectors. The Burns & McDonnell Program brings skilled workers into the workforce quickly, with a focus on safe work practices, which are the top priority of all her Burns & McDonnell construction projects.

Chad Whetro, Burns & McDonnell’s Health, Safety and Quality Manager, said: “People’s demand in key areas like power construction will only increase in the years to come, so a program like this will establish a pipeline of high-paying careers that will last a lifetime.”

As many solar projects are being built in remote locations, apprenticeship recruitment is concentrated in geographic areas close to where work is being done. If the project is completed before the apprentice is eligible to become a journey worker, the apprentice will have the opportunity to move on to another construction project to complete the process.

Using both union and open shop construction services, Burns & McDonnell is building several solar projects and advanced battery storage facilities across the country. The Renewable Energy Construction team uses advanced tools and techniques, a skilled workforce, and the critical path of construction to keep projects on budget and on schedule.

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