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Biographies of Jason Shaw as first Deaf Solar PV Installer

Biographies of Jason Shaw as first Deaf Solar PV Installer in nation

To see Jason Shaw’s ASL video interview – http://imaginesolar.com/jason-shaw

Short Biography of myself, Jason Shaw, first Deaf Certified Solar PV
Installer This is Jason Shaw, a deaf Texas Journeyman Electrician and
first Deaf certified solar PV installer in the nation! After two years
of training, I took and passed the NABCEP Solar PV Installer
Certification Exam in March of 2012 making me became a certified Solar
PV Installer (Certification #051112-171 from North American Board of
Professional Practioners (NABCEP)).


I am not a stranger to the clean energy field, having spent seventeen
years as a licensed electrician, most of them in commercial and
industrial construction field, and 5 years with building management
control integration. I was laid off in April of 2009 with the dramatic
slow down in the construction industry. After being on the job hunt for
a year, coupled with the frustration of finding a position fitting my
background with supervisory experience, I decided to look at my career
options so I can find employment in different field.

The Story

I reached out to Texas Workforce Solutions-Rural Capital in Round Rock
and discussed various alternative career options. Texas Workforce
Solutions encouraged me to get with Cathy Redson, a professional Solar
PV instructor, at the Green Job Workshop with the Texas Renewable
Energy Roundup in Salado, Texas in April 2010. At the workshop, Ms.
Redson and I spent over two hours discussing the various options for me
to enter the “Green Job” field. We both settled on the direction for
myself to undergo training in the solar PV field since the electrical
experience I held complemented the skills needed for the solar PV

In May 2010, I enrolled in the Austin Community College’s continuing
education solar program undertaking several courses in Solar PV, Solar
Thermal and Wind Energy. The first solar PV course I took was the HART
1071 with Cathy Redson as one of the two solar PV instructors with
Suzanne White. This course, which was featured in a KXAN news report
titled “Girl power meets solar power”
), had 14 women with three men as part of ACC’s “Women in Green Job”

I continued to take renewable energy courses at Austin Community
College after finishing HART 1071; however I still could not find any
positions in the solar PV industry due to my background making me
overqualified for many of the open solar PV installer positions which
were going for apprentice electricians. I determined the next course of
action, in addition to training, was to start building up networking
connections in the Clean Energy field. The first thing I did was to
join a student group, Renewable Energy Student Association, at Austin
Community College as an officer with the title of Continuing Education
Outreach Coordinator in fall 2010.

I still was frustrated with not being employed, not only in the solar
PV field, but also in the electrical field. I needed to gain experience
with the installation, with lead role, of at least two solar PV systems
over 1KW in order to take the North America Board of Energy Practioners
(NABCEP) Solar PV Installer Certification exam after I eventually
completed all the continuing education training in Renewable Energy in
the Spring of 2011.

I heard about and decided to attend an event hosted by Texas Clean
Energy Foundation, Solar Energy Entrepreneurs Network (SEEN) in March of
2010, (http://sites.google.com/site/wwwaustinseen/). At the SEEN function, I
met the executive director of NABCEP, Ezra Auerbach, from New York.
Auerbach was in Austin, Texas to finalize the detail of a new program
with ImagineSolar offering an alternative experience pathway lab, the
first of its kind in the nation, with solar PV installation for
journeyman and masters electricians in order to help them qualify for
the NABCEP Solar PV Installer Certification exam. Auerbach shared the
development with me after I shared my frustration of not getting the
needed experience to qualify for the solar PV installer exam. Auerbach
also mentioned another program, CNEST or Comprehensive-National
Electrician Solar Training, a grant program administered by Peter
Brodeur with Workforce Solutions-Capital Area in Austin, Texas.

I was appreciative for Auerbach providing me the information and
enrolled in the CNEST program in summer 2011. In addition, in my role
as the new Co-Chair of RESA, I worked to turn RESA into a student
chapter of American Solar Energy Society (ASES), making Austin
Community College the first community college in the nation and the
first of the higher education institute in Texas to have a student
chapter of ASES. With that success, I elected to remain a student at
ACC to help RESA make the transition to being a student chapter under
ASES and enrolled in the credit portion of the Renewable Energy
Specialization program. I was elected as the President of RESA for the
fall 2011 term under the new leadership structure I had created.


I finally completed all the Renewable Energy training with ImagineSolar
and attempted, with DARS helping cover the exam expenses, to pass the

NABCEP Solar PV Installer Certification exam, one of the toughest in
the nation with 30 percent of people passing it, in fall 2011 and did
not pass. Undeterred, I continued to study further at Austin Community
College, ImagineSolar and SolPowerPeople to aid him further with
preparation of 2nd attempt. On the 2nd attempt in March of 2012, I
passed the exam! I am now officially a certified solar PV installer,
joining 1500 other certified solar PV installers in the nation.
Auerbach, contacted me to give congratulations and informed me that, as
far as NABCEP was aware, I was the first Deaf individual in the nation
to become a certified solar PV installer.

In addition, I was re-elected to continue to serve as the President of
Renewable Energy Student Association, a student chapter of ASES, at ACC
for term beginning fall 2012. My role, as the President of RESA is to
lead a team to work on providing professional developments for students
at ACC in all aspects of Renewable Energy, Building Efficiency and
Alternative Technologies for Transportation.


After trying different paths, I had decided to change my major at ACC
from Renewable Energy Specialization to Business Management with a
certification in Small Business Management. I plan to get employed in
the solar PV industry and am looking into various options from starting
a consulting business, solar PV integration company, establishing a
non-profit organization to serve the Deaf community by doing outreach,
education/training and community service modeled on 1 House At A Time
to help the low-income families within the deaf community to do energy
upgrades on their homes. I will be taking the NABCEP Solar PV Technical
Sale exam as well as the Masters Electrician Exam. In addition, I am
planning to purse the NABCEP Small Wind Installer Certification after
strong encouragement from the wind energy community.

Jason Shaw

President of RESA

Email: [email protected]
512-905-7826 (TEXT ONLY!!)
512-994-0781 (VP)


Austin Community College
1020 Grove Blvd.
Austin, TX 78741
Office: 512.223.6225/Fax: 512.223.6761
RESA Website: http://www.austincc.edu/resa/
RESA E-mail: [email protected]

Austin Community College District
Alexis Patterson Hanes, Senior Public Information Coordinator
[email protected]
Highland Business Center
5930 Middle Fiskville Rd.
Austin, Texas 78752-4390
Work: 512-223-7596
Cell: 512-762-2034

ImagineSolar, Inc
Mary Lenoard, Assistant to Chief Executive Officer, Michael Kuhn.
[email protected]
400 Caven Road
Austin, TX 78744
Work: 512-443-5725

Workforce Solutions-Capital Area Workforce Board
Peter Brodeur,
[email protected]
6505 Airport Blvd., Ste 101E
Austin, TX 78752
Fax 512-719-4709

Cathy Redson, NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer and ISPQ Certified
[email protected]
[email protected]

North American Board of Energy Practioners (NABCEP)
Ezra Auerbach
[email protected]
56 Clifton Country Road, Ste 202
Clifton Park, NY 12065
Direct: 1-518-670-4553

More references up on request

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