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McCarthy's New Solar Projects in Arizona Provide 100 New Registered Apprenticeships

PHOENIX, AZ — McCarthy Building Companies Inc. recently began construction of new large-scale solar projects located in the Southwestern United States and are targeting Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) compliance. The projects, which are in varying stages of construction, are creating new solar construction jobs, which will include equipment operators and mechanical and electrical apprenticeships designed to introduce and train new workers in the growing solar industry.

McCarthy’s newest solar projects in the Rocky Mountain Construction area that are targeting IRA compliance include:

  • 376 MWdc solar project in Arlington, Arizona, that includes a 300 MW battery energy storage system. It is expected to complete in mid-2025, will hire at least 50 apprentices, and currently has 19 on the project.
  • 217 MWdc solar project in Marana, Arizona, that includes a 213 MW battery energy storage system. It is expected to complete in March 2025, recently began preliminary site work, and is in the process of hiring approximately 50 apprentices on the project.

With the IRA in place, the trajectory for solar is expected to soar, and those projects that include apprenticeship programs will reap financial incentives. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says that by the end of 2024, the U.S. is set to add 63 GW of photovoltaic power. This is an increase of 84 percent in just two years for solar production alone.

“With utility-scale solar construction jobs on the rise around the nation, we are continually working to help local skilled craft workers, veterans, and those displaced from jobs in other sectors to join our solar project teams and receive the training needed to develop rewarding careers in the growing renewable energy sector,” said Scott Canada, Executive Vice President of McCarthy’s Renewable Energy team. “Now with the IRA, there are federal incentives in place to further support apprenticeship programs that create even more good-paying jobs and expand workforce training pathways into these careers.”

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In 2021, McCarthy developed a U.S. Department of Labor-approved and registered apprenticeship program to provide an opportunity for workers to earn a salary while receiving both on-the-job training and technical instruction. To comply with IRA requirements, the firm’s Renewable Energy group updated its already U.S. Department of Labor accredited program to include renewable energy occupations. McCarthy has successfully registered its solar apprenticeship programs in Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, and Michigan, with registration in additional states in process.

McCarthy’s Registered Apprenticeship program, which lasts anywhere from two to four years, pairs apprentices with journey workers to support their development in the first year and requires apprentices to complete 144 hours per year of related instruction to improve their knowledge and skillset. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, graduates receive a nationally recognized credential from the U.S. Department of Labor and are potentially eligible for a wage increase.

McCarthy has partnered with unions in Nevada, Illinois, and California to develop complimentary apprenticeship programs around the nation that comply with Department of Labor and IRA requirements and ensure that the unions have access to the industry’s most current technology and equipment.

McCarthy’s Renewable Energy group is currently constructing or has completed 85 utility-scale clean energy projects in communities across the country since 2010, delivering a combined capacity of more than 9.5 GW of clean energy production and over 1,033 MW of battery storage.

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