Thanks to GRID Alternatives and Wells Fargo, more than 1000 US military veterans and active servicemen will be getting solar industry job training and job placement.
A $750,000 grant from Wells Fargo is helping to make the Troops To Solar initiative a reality for veterans and active service members who are transitioning out of active duty, by providing job training in the rapidly growing solar energy industry, as well as access to an online resume bank and solar job fairs.
GRID Alternatives, the largest nonprofit solar installer in the US, announced the three-year grant from Wells Fargo yesterday, just in time for Veterans Day, adding to the bank's ongoing financial support of both low-income solar installations and solar workforce training, with a grand total of $3.8 million invested in these initiatives by the company since 2007.
The national Troops To Solar program will rely on GRID Alternatives to provide solar job training and hands-on experience to veterans and active service members, which the nonprofit has been actively doing at several California locations, and is part of the Solar Energy Industries Association's (SEIA) commitment to getting 50,000 US veterans working in the solar industry by 2020.
“Solar companies hire veterans because they come trained, ready, and passionate. The solar industry is filled with people who are passionate about the job and who work together to help people, the environment, and national security. Solar, like the military, is not just about the paycheck; it’s also about working for something larger than oneself. Veterans working in solar get to serve our nation twice." - Nat Kreamer, veteran and Chairman of SEIA
Along with the solar job training for veterans and the potential for job placement within the industry, the Troops To Solar program also includes a new initiative, the Native American Veterans program, which will work with veteran solar trainees to install solar on veterans' homes in "extremely high-need communities in the Navajo Nation" and other tribal lands. Native Americans serve in the US armed forces at a higher per capita rate than any other ethnic group, but "suffer from higher rates of unemployment, poverty, and lack of access to health insurance," according to the US Veterans Administration.