NAACP’s Soul Power Project Builds Job Training Opportunities in Solar Energy

Updated: May 27

The NAACP LaPorte County and Gary Branches are uniting to build opportunities in the solar industry offering training to 10 individuals in a 4-week solar panel installer job training pilot program. Beginning June 14th, this program is offered as part of NAACP’s local environmental climate justice initiative, the Soul Power Project.

The NAACP Soul Power Project, an approved Indiana INTraining Provider Program, will train individuals ages 18 years and older to become certified solar installers. The online training course through Elevate, formerly Elevate Energy, will provide installer trainees with up-to-date knowledge on safety concerns, installation practices, best techniques, and current equipment and products available. Completion of the training will result in the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Certification and OSHA 10 Certification and hiring opportunities in the solar industry.

Indiana WorkOne Northwest will work with applicants to complete prerequisite testing and improve career readiness. Applicants encouraged to apply are residents who do not have college degrees or are returning citizens.

Steve Mays, NAACP Gary Branch President says “It’s vital that opportunities to transition students, workers and returning citizens into the green economy are available in the Black community. The Gary Branch is proud to partner with the LaPorte County branch on this program and to host it at the Gary Career Center.”

Program partner, Indiana Workforce Development, is committed to hiring trainees. Indiana Career and Talent Network, Michigan City Sustainability Commission, Just Transition NWI, and Solar United Neighbors are partnering in support of the Soul Power Project goals: advancing energy efficiency while bridging the economic gap and strengthening NWI communities.

La’Tonya Troutman, NAACP LaPorte County Branch Environmental Climate Justice Chair and project creator, says “The Soul Power Project provides a blueprint to prepare impacted workers and residents in low-income communities, communities of color, by working with renewable energy providers, utility workers, and partners in Northwest Indiana to address environmental and economic problems to create sustainable outcomes to improve the lives of residents who lack access to living-wage jobs.

Solar industry job positions available to trainees will include careers in Sales, Design, Installation, and Project Management. Interested participants must be available weekly Monday through Friday from 10 am until 2 pm to complete course training. To apply by June 4th or learn more about the Soul Power Project or the NAACP visit Soul Power Project | NAACP LAPORTE COUNTY (

La'Tonya Troutman at Blue Chip Casino Job Fair


Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.