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The start of a new school year means something different to everyone, but for the ELSE team, it means putting our Solar Ambassadors program into high gear!  This year, the ELSE team has welcomed over 40 Solar Ambassadors (SA’s) to our professional development program, which includes representation from various provinces throughout the country. To date, there are three chapters that are formally recognized as student clubs on their campuses (University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and Niagara College). There are also eight schools that have a Solar Ambassador presence (York University, Ryerson University, Centennial College, McMaster University, Queen’s University, Concordia University, UOIT, and the University of Calgary).  To prep for September’s school start, the new and returning SA’s worked alongside the National ELSE SA Committee throughout the summer to develop opportunities to share their love for solar at their respective schools and it was certainly a hit!  Students came in droves to ELSE-sponsored school events and ELSE campus exhibits to learn more about how solar can become a bigger part of their lives, and maybe even a career path.  Following the success of Frosh Week, the ELSE SA chapters are looking to accomplish great things all across Canada this year. From competing in solar design competitions, touring solar manufacturing facilities, hosting a Green Careers conference, to organizing speaker events… there are many things to look forward to as an ELSE SA!

Join us on Wednesday, October 7th at the University of Calgary in Math Sciences 217 at 1:30pm. We're looking to provide students and young professionals with an opportunity to meet and listen to members of the solar energy industry and to possibly become a part of it themselves. David Kelly, CEO of SkyFire Energy, the largest solar energy installer in Western Canada will be presenting, as well as Brodie Yyelland,  Chair of ELSE Alberta.  We will be introducing a new solar energy student club at the University of Calgary and will finish with a tour of the Cenovus Spo'pi Solar House. Full Registration Here

Emerging Leaders for Solar Energy (ELSE) is looking for members to contribute to an industry research study led by Smart Mint Search Inc. recruiter, Sarah Giesbrecht.   Background: Smart Mint Search is a boutique recruitment agency that specializes in the sustainable, renewable, and green industries. Sarah Giesbrecht, Sr. Recruitment Consultant at Smart Mint, has designed a research study that will identify the current state of careers in the renewable energy industry in Canada and perform an industry analysis to determine what this all means for career opportunities in the future. Volunteer Responsibilities: Through the assistance of Sarah Giesbrecht, ELSE-member volunteers will be expected to assist with issuing surveys, arranging and conducting in-depth interviews, and combing through metrics to prepare an industry report to be reviewed nationwide. Volunteers are expected to contribute 2-3 hours/week to the research study starting from September 18th to November 30th, 2015. Benefit to Volunteers: If selected to participate in this research study, volunteers can look forward to the many benefits associated including learning more about the renewable energy industry, obtaining work experience for your resume, connecting with industry professionals, potential of having special mention on a national industry paper, reference letters and having access to a senior recruiter in the renewable energy industry. Evaluation Process: Resumes must be sent to programs@elsecanada.ca by Sunday, September 13th, 2015 at midnight (EST). Note: Only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

Join us as we have leading industry recruiters, Aerotek and Smartmint, share their tricks and tips on how to get a job in the solar industry, build your brand and how to network! Fox and Fiddle Yorkville  280 Bloor Street West  Toronto, ON  M5S3B6 Canada  Wednesday, 16 September 2015 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM (EDT) Doors open 6:00pm; presentations start at 6:30pm.

ELSE Volunteer Fellowship in Nepal Full time position, all expenses covered October to November 2015 Emerging Leaders for Solar Energy (ELSE) is looking for a passionate volunteer with technical renewable energy knowledge to work with our partner SunFarmer for two months in Nepal to develop an online training portal. SunFarmer is a non-profit organization that provides solar energy systems for health clinics, schools, and irrigation projects in developing countries. SunFarmer plans to provide solar electricity to Nepalese residents by constructing 4,000 projects over the next five years and can use your help to make it happen! We are seeking a volunteer to work full-time with SunFarmer on its development operations for a period of two months spanning October-November 2015. ELSE will cover the successful applicant’s general expenses including flights, medical insurance, lodging and meals during the work period. Work-related travel costs within Nepal will be covered by SunFarmer. Background: Lack of solar technology knowledge is a major issue in places like Nepal where training opportunities and access to information/expertise are very limited. SunFarmer incorporates this into its model as it partners with local installation companies on every project and SunFarmer engineers work with them to ensure that their extensive quality and safety standards are met. In order to expand this impact, SunFarmer is creating a solar training portal for the development of global solar projects. The portal will include free, open source reference and training materials, as well as Q&A message boards where experienced engineers can answer questions and provide advice. Responsibilities: The volunteer will spend two months in Nepal developing an understanding of local training needs, finding and sharing relevant and useful materials, and onboarding local energy companies. SunFarmer is connected to many solar companies/non-profits across Asia and Africa and this training portal could be very useful for other groups as well. The volunteer will help recruit expert volunteers to help answer technical questions, and act as a forum moderator (this responsibility can continue beyond the two month period, if interested). The volunteer may also assist directly with SunFarmer’s solar project developments, as required. The volunteer will be expected to blog during their time in Nepal and give a short presentation on their experience and lessons learned at the CanSIA Solar Canada conference December 7-8, 2015. Qualifications and requirements: Mandatory Completion of a Bachelor’s degree (engineering or related technical field preferred) Willing to commit 2 months working full-time out of SunFarmer’s Nepal office in Kathmandu, as well as on one or more project sites in Nepal Strong research skills and proficient with MS Office Good communicator and public speaker Have valid passport to travel internationally Willing to have all travel inoculations Willing to sign a liability waiver Between the ages of 20-35 Preferable Experience working across cultures, particularly in developing regions 1-2 years’ experience with renewable energy or mechanical/electrical systems Have an entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to quickly learn new concepts Passion! Our team is driven by a passion for the work we do, and we are looking for someone who is as excited about solar energy as we are. To apply Please email the following documents to projects@elsecanada.ca by August 24th with the subject line “SunFarmer Volunteer Fellowship” (also feel free to ask any questions): a 1-2 page resume outlining your relevant experience a cover letter explaining why you are interested in and suitable for this opportunity (in 600 words or less) We are eager to find the volunteer who can add the most value and will be interviewing finalists for the position. This is an exciting opportunity to work with a dynamic and impactful organization while providing a significant benefit to developing communities and gaining valuable renewable energy project development experience in an international environment. We look forward to hearing from you!

ELSE BC and Alberta, the newest chapters of the ELSE organization, are looking for Board Members to join their Provincial Boards. Both BC and Alberta Chapters are looking for candidates for the below positions: Events Chair (BC: 1, Alberta: 1) Communications Chair (BC: 1, Alberta: 1) Board Coordinator (BC: 1, Alberta: 1) Advisory Board Members (BC: up to 3) Interested? Find out more by reading the Board Member Application Information. The deadline to apply is July 3rd, 2015. Contact BC(at)elsecanada.ca or AB(at)elsecanada.ca  for questions or clarifications.  

Emerging Leaders in Solar Energy hosted a “Solar Powered Challenge” integrated with a course for first year engineers at Queen’s University. The Solar Powered Challenge encouraged the Queen’s students to use solar power to provide a struggling region in the world with assess to clean drinking water.   A group competing in the Solar Powered Challenge was awarded the Mason Cup, a prestigious accolade given in recognition of a tremendous design process and solution in the course. With over 750 contenders for the Mason Cup, the award is highly regarded. The Mason cup winners, Chris Little, Sadie Poste, Annabelle Corsi-Johnson, Ramiro Enriquez, Marnus Coetsee, rose to the challenge and created an portable filtration system that would be effective in the African country of Zimbabwe. The solution involved the use of three separate filtration devices along with a solar radiation tank that uses solar energy to disinfect the Zimbabwean water.  The Mason cup winners took the project beyond the initial expectations of the challenge. The innovative solution provided is a stepping stone in the right direction for solar power awareness and universal clean water accessibility

On April 25, a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, followed by intense aftershocks that culminated in a 7.3 magnitude earthquake on May 12. Over 8,500 people were killed, and at least 22,000 more were injured. Nepal had low levels of energy access before the earthquake, and has now suffered a significant setback.   SunFarmer is a social enterprise co-founded by Canadian solar industry veteran Jason Gray and his former SunEdison colleague, Andy Moon. They have been active in Nepal for nearly two years, where they provide “rent-to-own” financing and long-term monitoring and maintenance for institutional solar projects including health facilities, schools, and farms. With an on-the-ground engineering team based on Kathmandu, they are currently responding to the energy needs of those impacted by the disaster, and planning for the long-term reconstruction of the country’s infrastructure. [Read More]

This spring, Emerging Leaders in Solar Energy (ELSE) will launch Canada’s first mentorship program for the solar energy industry. Targeting students, recent graduates and young professionals less than 35 years of age, the program will match mentees with two experienced industry professionals for one-hour, in-person sessions. The ELSE program was modelled after a successful commercial real estate mentorship program which encourages pairs to develop diverse, casual mentoring relationships with minimal time commitments for mentors. “My co-chair Lia and I were looking for ways to better serve ELSE members and to truly add value to their professional development efforts,” said outgoing ELSE Co-chair Jonathan Frank. “And on a broader scale, I felt that a mentorship program was a critical step in the maturation of the Canadian solar industry.” John Gorman, President and CEO of CanSIA, notes that the industry’s reaction to the mentorship program has been overwhelmingly positive. “ELSE continues to design and implement programs and initiatives that are of tremendous value to the industry. Every member of CanSIA’s Board of Directors signed up on the spot,” said Gorman. “It’s another example of the vibrancy of the solar industry as represented by our emerging leaders.” [The above is an excerpt from an article in CanSIA's SOLutions magazine. Read the full article]

Introducing the new 2015 ELSE Board The Emerging Leaders for Solar Energy (ELSE) board has finished off another strong year completing its first international development project on the Siddeswor Health Clinic, launched a Mentorship Program connecting students, young professionals, and industry experts, as well as running several events and tours throughout the past year.

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