California Agency Approves Worker Training Project For Soitec, A Solar Company

California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency’s Employment Training Panel this week approved 29 contracts, worth over $10M in job training funds.

Since the last meeting on January 27,  they also approved more than $1M for 20 small businesses and fast track projects using their delegation order process.

Training proposals the Panel looked at today, included a project by French photovoltaic manufacturer, Soitec Solar Industries, a producer of concentrated photovoltaic modules for large-scale utility power plants.

Soitec’s worker training project was approved and will train new workers as the company expands its presence in California.


French company, Soitec gets funds to train California workers

A Training Panel press release says “Over the next year the facility expects to create approximately 250 high-skill, local manufacturing, construction, and long-term operations jobs, and plans to return to the Panel for the second phase of its project next fiscal year. Once fully operational, Soitec’s San Diego headquarters will directly create 450 jobs, while supporting an additional estimated 1,000 jobs in the region. Funding approved today will assist Soitec in training its current and projected workforce.”

The company’s name is a play on their flagship material, SOI (Silicon-on-Insulator), which they developed and manufacture.

Soitec was founded in 1992, when they started to develop and commercialize the revolutionary Smart Cut™ “atomic scalpel” technology. Since then, the company has continued to innovate and grow. The company website says “Today we are leading technological advances that will shape the performance of tomorrow’s products on markets like computing, telecommunications, automotive electronics, and lighting. Our Concentrix™ technology has also enabled us to become a global leader in the manufacture of systems used by the concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar energy industry.”

“With the hiring of 27 employees in the last 5 months and an additional 236 planned by the end of 2012, Soitec is excited to create new, green energy jobs in California. ETP funds will help our company to train and prepare employees for high-skilled jobs at our newly established factory in San Diego. Additionally, ETP funds will allow Soitec to reach the 33 percent renewables portfolio standard by 2020”
- Clark Crawford, VP Sales and Business Development USA Soitec Solar

The Panel also approved guidelines for an Apprentice Training Pilot Program for classroom and simulated laboratory training. Under the pilot, funding will allow a Joint Apprentice Training Committee or other program sponsor to supplement limited state Montoya Funds for the Related and Supplemental Instruction portion of apprentice training. Detailed program guidelines will be available on the Employment Training Panel website.

The Training Panel will coordinate with the California Labor Federation and the State Building and Construction Trades Council to implement the Apprentice Training Pilot Program. The Labor Federation and the Council will help to build awareness of the program, and advise on evaluation measures and potential program refinements.

The program is funded by the Employment Training Tax paid by California employers and helps businesses threatened by out-of-state and international competition. Since its inception in 1983, the ETP program has provided close to $1.25 billion to train approximately 800,000 workers for more than 78,000 California companies. Employers match training funds awarded by ETP, making these projects true public-private partnerships. See or more information about the program, or call 916-327-5368.