Solar Focus Job Fair 2016

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November 22, 2016

Reyna with GRID speaking to a job seeker

Reyna with GRID speaking to a job seeker
Reyna with GRID speaking to a job seeker

“There are endless possibilities with solar careers,” said Andrea Luecke with the Solar Foundation, “sales, finance, permitting, policy, web development, market research, project development, installation…..” The list goes on and on. Job fair attendees discovered this when they attended the Solar Focus Job Fair on November 17th, at the Downtown Renaissance Hotel in Washington DC. 

GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic co-hosted the Solar Focus Job Fair with MDV-SEIA (the regional solar energy industries association), as part of their 2016 Solar Focus Conference. With 22 employers hiring, and over 300 job seekers in attendance, there were plenty of organizations for people to discover, and plenty of potential employees for these organizations to meet. 

“It’s been very informative,” said Paula, a job fair attendee currently working in energy policy, 

Job Seeker speaking to a solar organization
Job Seeker speaking to a solar organization
“I’m new to the job search and new to the industry. I’m trying to learn more and see what would be a good fit.” Lucy, an engineer, is eager to get into the solar industry. In addition to networking with numerous industry professionals, she signed up to volunteer with GRID Alternatives to learn more about the solar installation process. 

Since the solar industry is growing nearly 12 times faster than the rest of the US economy, there are always job openings, even for people just entering the industry.  “We are always looking for jobs, like sales or installers,” said Lisa with Solar Energy Services, “I met this one individual who lives two miles from our office. He is interested in an installer job. We can train him, even with no previous experience, as long as he has a little mechanical savviness.” DC Sustainable Energy Utility was tabling, but not actively looking for employers. “We are passively looking. We are a business organization, and we have found people here who have business experience.”

Exploring Career Pathways in Renewable Energy panel
Exploring Career Pathways in Renewable Energy panel
Everyone took a small break from networking to attend a job fair panel, Exploring Career Pathways in Renewable Energy. Speakers discussed targeted efforts for building a qualified workforce that will enable the growth of the solar industry. Joe Andronaco of Access Green, Erika Symmonds of GRID Alternatives, Ben Stutz of the District Department of Energy and Environment, and Andrea Luecke of the Solar Foundation were the panelists, discussing insights about pursuing a career in renewable energy.

“The job fair was a great success,” said Sienia Arku, Workforce Coordinator with GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic. “We hope that people are hired as a direct result of the job fair. At the very least, we hope we provided people with a great opportunity to network and learn more about the solar industry.”

 

Help GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic turn volunteers' solar installation experience into a career, and donate today!