Veterans who've spent long days under the sweltering sun to protect our freedom can now learn to harness the sun's rays for their benefit—at no cost. Servicemen and servicewomen of the U.S. military who are interested in solar energy can receive 100 percent tuition assistance for renewable energy career training from Solar Energy International (SEI). Under the Veterans and Active Duty Military Training Program, both past and present members of the military can undergo schooling and become certified to begin a career in the solar industry.
“We believe in the opportunities that renewable energy can afford our country, such as energy independence and sustainable use of our country's natural resources,” says Kathy Swartz, SEI executive director. “With that in mind, we also honor those who have served our country and who are choosing to follow up their military service with a new kind of service; service in the renewable energy sector.”
As President Obama has proposed nearly $1 billion in spending for renewable energy initiatives, the clean energy job market will undoubtedly continue to thrive. This creates an ideal opportunity for members of the military to break into emerging green technology with solar photovoltaic (PV) expertise.
For more than 20 years, SEI has offered technical training in the clean energy sector. To qualify for a full scholarship, soldiers, sailors, airmen and marine must possess a valid DD form 214, or a current military identification card for active duty personnel. Servicemen and servicewomen must apply for the SEI Solar Professionals Certificate Program—the parent program of the military education program—and meet the selection criteria in order to qualify for full tuition assistance.
For members of the military who are on active duty, SEI is also offering scholarship funding for its “Train-the-Trainers” certificate program. Under this curriculum, servicemen and servicewomen who are interested in bringing solar energy technology into their basecamp or unit—and then training military personnel onsite—may receive scholarship money to do so.
“We offer this program with the deepest sense of gratitude,” the SEI says.
After providing students with technical solar photovoltaic (PV) training, SEI will connect graduates with its network of over 30,000 alumni in the renewable energy sector. “We have also partnered with Veterans Green Jobs to help advocate for employment with leading employers,” the organization says.
SEI’s military education program was made possible by the Veterans Workforce Investment Program (VWIP). The VWIP has provided funding for veterans throughout Colorado—where SEI is based—in addition to other states throughout the nation. Veteran Employment Specialist Tony Hersh can connect interested veterans to their designated state representative.