CYPRESS CREEK PARTNERS WITH CAPE FEAR COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN SOLAR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE
March 27, 2018
Cypress Creek Renewables today announced the launch of a partnership with Cape Fear Community College to invest in southeast North Carolina’s workforce. The initiative, which includes a $16,500 grant by Cypress Creek, will support students and instructors in Cape Fear Community College’s Sustainability Technologies program.
North Carolina is a national leader in solar energy. Last year, the state topped the country in utility-scale solar installations, adding nearly 1,200 megawatts of new solar — enough energy to power about 200,000 homes. And, in 2017, the state added 500 new solar jobs. More than 7,600 North Carolinians are now employed by the solar industry.
Congressman David Rouzer said, “The partnership between Cape Fear Community College and Cypress Creek Renewables is great for the 7th Congressional District. This initiative is a big boost for jobs and energy production, and it’s also a testament to the great job Cape Fear Community College is doing to prepare students for opportunities of the future.”
Cypress Creek is a national solar energy company, with its engineering, procurement, construction and operations and maintenance businesses based in their flagship office in the Research Triangle Park. The company owns and operates more than 140 active solar farms in North Carolina.
Jim Morton, Interim President, Cape Fear Community College, said, “The solar industry is a job creator. This grant from Cypress Creek Renewables will allow us to further invest in our students as we prepare them for careers in the growing field of renewable energy.”
Cypress Creek directly employs more than 100 North Carolinians directly and further supports hundreds of solar farm construction jobs across the state through the company’s partnership with North Carolina-based vendors. Zac Simoneau, a life-long southeastern North Carolina resident and a graduate of the Sustainability Technologies program at Cape Fear Community College, works as Quality Control Technician with Cypress Creek.
Simoneau said, “Cape Fear’s Sustainability Technologies program got me into solar and prepared me for my career with Cypress Creek. Now, I’m proud to be back with my instructor John Wojciechowski to announce this partnership that will allow more people in my community to enter the solar industry.”
This partnership with Cape Fear Community College is a part of Cypress Creek’s workforce development initiative. The company’s aim is to strengthen the U.S. energy workforce through proactive investment in job training and workforce development. Cypress Creek previously announced partnerships with Kankakee Community College in Illinois, Hudson Valley Community College in New York, and Greenville Technical College in South Carolina.
Greg Gebhardt, Director of Government & Community Relations, Cypress Creek Renewables, said, “We want to see more people like Zac getting the training that they need to enter the solar industry. Graduates of Cape Fear’s Sustainability Technologies program are highly skilled and prepared to go to work immediately in good paying, 21st century jobs. Our partnership with Cape Fear Community College will help ensure that the solar industry has access to the right people—now and in the future—as we build out our growing pipeline of solar projects and operate projects throughout North Carolina.”
The launch of this partnership coincides with the recent completion of Cypress Creek’s first solar + storage facilities in Brunswick and Columbus Counties, North Carolina. These 12 solar-plus-storage projects represent the first set of battery storage projects developed, constructed, financed and commissioned by Cypress Creek. Cypress Creek acquired the projects from United Renewable Energy (URE), the initial developer of the projects.
About Cape Fear Community College: Serving more than 23,000 students each year, Cape Fear Community College is the seventh largest community college in the North Carolina Community College system and a major economic development partner in southeastern NC. Dedicated to providing world-class workforce training and higher education for the citizens of New Hanover and Pender counties, CFCC offers over 50 technical degree programs in a wide range of areas, college transfer programs and Career and College Promise programs for qualified high school students. CFCC was founded in 1958 and has locations in Wilmington, Castle Hayne, Burgaw, and Surf City.