Earlier this month the Department of Energy (DOE) announced a further expansion of its popular Solar Ready Vets program to train veterans for jobs in the solar industry. The program was piloted in 2014 and graduated its first class of marines from Camp Pendleton in early 2015.
The DOE and Department of Defense have quickly moved the program from pilot into to its first stage when President Obama officially launched it in April 2015. In 2015 the program trained more than 150 veterans for the solar industry. “I’m pleased to report that every single one received a job offer upon graduating,” said Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, deputy DOE secretary. She added, “This is just the start.”
“The Solar Ready Vets team has developed strong relationships with the solar industry over the course of this year, ensuring that students are given priority for high-quality jobs,” Sherwood-Randall said. Indeed, companies like Vivint Solar and SolarCity quickly hired on the service members that completed the training program. She added that the training program is regularly updated to make sure it meets the needs of solar installers and companies.
Since launching at Camp Pendleton the DOE and DOD have expanded the training program to Colorado’s Fort Carson and Virginia’s Naval Station. “We know that the veterans we train through Solar Ready Vets have a tremendous impact on the industry because they have the diverse technical, leadership, and problem-solving skills needed to thrive,” Sherwood-Randall said.
“In 2016, we are expanding the program to make it faster and easier for more bases to join,” Sherwood-Randall said. “Hill Air Force Base in Utah will launch the Air Force’s first cohort in February, and Fort Drum in New York will launch its first class this month. Governor Cuomo announced the new program on January 6, which will train five cohorts in the next year.”
"Soldiers and veterans have the experience and know-how to get the job done," Cuomo said. "The dramatic growth of solar in New York is creating a demand for highly skilled workers. Offering these heroes valuable training and the technical skills needed to work in this rapidly growing industry, not only helps veterans succeed post service, but helps all of us create a more sustainable future.”
The program is part of the larger effort to train 75,000 people for jobs in the growing solar industry.Tweet