Today the Department of Energy announced that the first class of marines at Camp Pendleton trained for careers in the solar industry has graduated. They’re the first class of service members trained through a pilot program that will train 200 transitioning military service members for jobs in the solar industry.
The military is supporting the pilot through the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge initiative and partnered with DOE’s Sunshot Initiative in effort to help prepare veterans for careers after the military. The military will also offer the training courses at Fort Carson and Naval Station Norfolk this spring.
“As more homes and businesses across America choose solar power for their electricity needs, the solar industry is growing rapidly, and demand for highly skilled solar workers is on the rise,” said Minh Le, director, SunShot Initiative. “This new solar energy job training program will help our motivated, highly skilled service men and women gain the training they need to transition into leaders of our nation’s growing clean energy economy.”
While this is the first class to graduate from this program, a number of veterans have already found jobs in the solar industry. DOE said that nearly 17,000 former service members are employed in solar industry. That’s nearly 10 percent of the more than 174,000 people who work in the U.S. solar industry today.
The trainings, according to DOE, are preparing the service members for jobs as photovoltaic system installers, sales representatives, system inspectors, and other solar-related opportunities. Under SkillBridge exiting military personnel can pursue civilian job training, employment skills training, apprenticeships and internships up to 6 months prior to their separation date, DOE said.
In addition, five of the largest U.S. solar employers—SolarCity, Vivint Solar, Sunrun, SunEdison and SunPower—have already committed to interviewing those that have gone through the new pilot training program.Tweet