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Solar Ready Vets for Solar Ready Communities

November 11, 2015 by Alexandra Aznar

Flourishing state and local solar markets demand a skilled workforce capable of meeting industry demands. The solar industry employs professionals across various sectors: manufacturing, installation, sales and distribution, and project development. And, according to the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Job’s Census, job growth in the solar industry has taken off in the past five years with 2014 numbers showing that the solar industry added jobs “at a rate nearly 20 times faster than the overall economy.”

A new Department of Energy SunShot Initiative training program called Solar Ready Vets seeks to equip transitioning service members (soon-to-be veterans) with the skills they need to join and thrive in this booming industry. The SunShot Initiative aims to:

  1. Build training capacity for its 400 partner training institutions in the Solar Instructor Training Network
  2. Connect these training institutions to military and solar employers (Figure 1).

At a time when many states and localities are welcoming home veterans from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and developing solar markets, the Solar Ready Vets program provides a model for connecting these two issues for mutual benefit. For more information about the Solar Ready Vets program, see this video.

An illustration of several connected spheres, each containing a next step in the veteran training program.

Figure 1. Sunshot Initiative’s Solar Ready Vets program. Source: http://energy.gov/eere/sunshot/solar-ready-vets

References:

National Solar Job’s Census. 2015. The Solar Foundation. Accessed November 9, 2015. http://www.thesolarfoundation.org/solar-jobs-census/national/

Tags: Resources Projects