McCarthy Training Next Generation of Solar Builders

McCarthy Building Cos. recently began constructing two solar projects in Texas that are part of the state’s first efforts to target Inflation Reduction Act compliance, which uses apprentices to support project development.

On both projects, the electrician, equipment operator and mechanical apprentices are paired with journey workers to support their development in the first year, and the apprentices complete 144 hours per year of related instruction to improve their knowledge and skill set, explained Jared Carlson, senior vice president of operations for the renewable energy team at McCarthy.

Upon completing the apprenticeship, graduates receive a nationally recognized credential from the U.S. Dept. of Labor and are potentially eligible for a wage increase.

Carlson says that training more people in the trades will help alleviate the workforce shortage.

The company plans a 260-MWdc solar project in Milam County and a 260-MWdc solar project in Pearsall, Texas.


Texas Firms Offer to Rebuild Robb Elementary for Free

Two companies in the Lone Star state are giving their know-how and time to building an elementary school for the students in Uvalde, Texas, where one of the worst school massacres occurred in May 2022.

Architect Huckabee Inc. and Joeris General Contractors are looking to raise $60 million to construct the 116.500-sq-ft school, slated to open in 2025. Around 75% of the estimated $60 million has been raised.

Kerri Brady, vice president of educational practice at Huckabee, says, “The school was designed with safety as the No.1 priority.”

While the new school will include numerous safety measures to prevent unauthorized entry, the exact nature of those measures isn’t being disclosed.

She did say that when completed around May 2025, the new Uvalde school will require safety badges for staff to open doors.

“All visitors will follow campus procedures upon entry and will have limited access to areas of the campus unless they are escorted by campus personnel,” she said.

There will also be fewer exterior doors than in Robb Elementary School, where a gunman fatally shot 19 students and two teachers and injured 17 other students.

Brady says the group spearheading the project, the Uvalde CISD Community Advisory Committee, believes in transparency but thinks it best not to reveal many safety measures.