U.S. veterans are finding jobs in the solar industry thanks to some innovative training programs like the Department of Energy’s Solar Ready Vets Program, which has helped train veterans for jobs in the growing solar industry. Other organizations like GRID Alternatives are also doing their part to support vets in the solar industry. The organization just announced a new Troops to Solar training program to support more veteran jobs in the solar industry.
The new GRID Alternatives program aims to train more than 1,000 veterans for jobs in the solar industry. GRID Alternatives said it will provide training and hands-on solar installation experience to veterans through through the program and connect its trainees with job openings at its installer partners. The organization said the program expands its existing work with veterans in California.
“Solar is a high-growth career that speaks to so many of the skills our Veterans bring—leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, innovation,” said Anna Bautista, vice president for
Construction and Workforce Development at GRID Alternatives. “Together we can build a
stronger clean energy future for our country.” The jobs the program targets start at roughly $20 an hour and go up from there.
The latest iteration of GRID Alternative’s veteran training program is the result of a $750,000, three-year grant from Wells Fargo. The new grant ups Wells Fargo’s investment in GRID Alternatives to over $3.8 million since 2007.
”GRID Alternatives has been instrumental in our efforts to provide environmental solutions to diverse communities across the country,” said Mary Wenzel, head of environmental affairs for Wells Fargo. “GRID’s new workforce development initiative is perfectly aligned with Wells Fargo’s ongoing to commitment to veterans and goal to advance environmental sustainability. We are excited about our continued partnership.”
Meanwhile the DOE’s Solar Ready Vets Program pilots have shown tremendous promise. “The great news is that every Solar Ready Vets graduate has received job offers in this rapidly expanding industry,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall. In fact, its participants were hired even before the they graduated. “Since then the Department of Energy increased its funding of the program to $12 million.”
“Solar Ready Vets training programs have already been established at Camp Pendleton in California, Fort Carson in Colorado, and Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia. A program at Hill Air Force Base in Utah will start early next year,” Sherwood-Randall said. “President Obama announced the expansion of our efforts in April 2015, committing to 10 installations during the program’s pilot phase, with additional plans to expand the program across the country.”Tweet