Second GO Solar Renewable Energy Fest to Feature Session on Job and Training Opportunities for the Solar and Renewable Energy Workforce
- Panel of industry leaders to discuss job qualifications -
DATE: May 16, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Kay Sommers, LEED Green Associate
Broward County Pollution Prevention, Remediation and Air Quality 
PHONE: 954-519-1257

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - The Second Annual Go Solar Renewable Energy Fest, June 6-7 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, will include an important panel presentation on job creation and training in the solar and renewable energy industry. Titled “Show Me the Green: Job Creation and Renewable Energy,”  the session will be presented Saturday June 7, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the Grand Floridian Ball Room (third floor).

The three-member panel will be moderated by Robert Mellifont, vice president of Business Development at Sunergy World, Inc., a wholesaler of solar panels and other solar driven systems. Panelists will be Ray Johnson, founder and president of Fort Lauderdale -based US Solar Institute (USSI), USSolar and Florida Solar One Inc.; Jamie Schlinkmann, managing director of Inerjy, an engineering, development, and manufacturing company focused on technologies for clean energy proliferation; and Colleen Kettles, program director of the Florida Solar Energy Center and coordinator of the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition where she is engaged in alternative energy workforce development and training initiatives. 

Mellifont has been actively involved in designing and selling solar energy systems for the past six years. He has spent the last 45 years in sales, sales management and entrepreneurship. He has also designed and sold residential, commercial and mobile solar energy systems. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing from St. John's University, New York City. 
Johnson is also
 the master trainer and author for USSI and Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) Solar Certification Workshops and brings more than 25 years of experience in capital construction, engineering design and system programming, detailed energy audits, photovoltaic power production, and commercial solar thermal system design and construction experience into the classroom. He is affiliated with an array of central energy power plant projects including University of Miami Medical Campus, CNN Headquarters, The Mayo Clinic, and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games Solar Energy Plant – a first of its kind at that time.

Schlinkmann is an entrepreneur and engineer who has led teams responsible for development and manufacture of numerous machines used in manufacturing and medical laboratory automation. In addition, he led the team that developed EcoVert  —  the quietest and highest technology wind turbine ever designed for distributed generation applications.

Kettles is a member of the Florida Bar and has more than 30 years of legal and policy research, program development and implementation in the fields of solar energy and energy efficiency.

Florida Solar Energy Center is a partner in the Go Solar Florida project, which is funded by a U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge grant. The goal of the grant is to make it easier for Floridians to obtain grid-tied solar installations. The purpose is to increase the use of and access to solar energy among the state’s residents and businesses by reducing market barriers, lowering non-hardware related installation costs and providing access to financing options.

Students, educators, university faculty chairs, solar professionals, career center advisers and anyone interested in training opportunities in renewable energy are specially invited to participate in this session.

Florida Power and Light is the official energy provider of the Go Solar Renewable Energy Fest. For more information on attending, exhibiting or sponsoring, visit

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