Solar Dream Realized

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February 27, 2017

Pat Claycomb knew from an early age she wanted to work in the solar industry. Although she spent a considerable amount of time in sales and human resources, Pat continually followed advancements in photovoltaic technology, frequently talking to her family about the benefits of sustainable energy. “I have been an advocate for years,” Pat said. “I was just waiting for the right opportunity to come along and become involved in a meaningful capacity.”

When Pat left her career in human resources, she saw a chance to break away from her old career and follow her passion. “I had built a strong set of skills in human resources helping people and wondered how I could use them in solar,” Pat commented. “My answer came to me when I saw a GRID flyer at the unemployment office.”

Pat called GRID’s Workforce Development team and inquired about the job-training program. “I must admit I had a couple of concerns before contacting GRID,” she revealed. “First I had never been on a roof and was a bit nervous due to a fear of heights. I was also worried there would be too many volunteers on the job and nothing for me to do.”

Once Pat arrived at her first install, her fears were alleviated. “I was ecstatic. It is so easy to be a GRID volunteer,” she said. “The Solar Installation Supervisors (SIS) are so supportive and their commitment to safety is clear. By the end of my first day, I felt my confidence soar!”

Since November 2016, Pat has volunteered almost 70 hours for GRID. “I am a big fan of GRID’s workflow process and was pleased how welcoming the SIS teams were to me as a woman,” she said. “I worked with several different supervisors and the consistency was impressive. All the supervisors respected me as a person, making sure I learned at my own pace while constantly encouraging me to expand my skills.”

Pat’s message to women who are considering a career in solar is clear. “Get on the roof and walk away with a good knowledge base of how solar works,” she declared. “Right now I am learning how to present the safety orientation in Spanish and hope to reach Team Leader status soon.”

The solar industry is reaching out to women with a variety of positions in an area of the economy that is growing at 15-20% each year. If you are interested in learning more about a career in solar, contact our workforce development team today at 951.471.7043 or via email at infoie@gridalternatives.org.