MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Employers in Minnesota’s solar industry project the workforce to grow by 20 percent in 2016, according to census data recently released.

The nonprofit Solar Foundation put out its 2015 census for the state, and it shows that employers here expect to add 410 solar jobs this year.

Currently, Minnesota has nearly 2,000 workers employed in solar-related programs. Most work in the Twin Cities metro and in St. Louis County up north.

Nearly 50 percent of the jobs in the state industry are in sales and distribution. About 17 percent are in installation or manufacturing, and just over 10 percent are in project development.

The census, which was funded in part by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, says the growth in solar jobs is related to solar-friendly state and federal programs.

Over the last two years, the industry in Minnesota has seen its workforce more than double, adding more that 1,100 workers between 2013 and 2015.

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