The SolarCorps Program is funded through a variety of sources, including an AmeriCorps National Direct grant, AmeriCorps VISTA grant, and a number of private grants. Fellows receive stipends that are comparable to compensation for entry level installer and nonprofit positions (an average of $12-$15 per hour). Health insurance and vacation are also offered.
Cohorts begin in early February (applications accepted in the winter) and late August (applications accepted during the summer).
The 2015-16 cohort of fellows recently wrapped up their year of service and are moving on to what lies ahead. Outcomes from last year’s SolarCorps program include:
- 90% job placement success rate
- Fellows helped to install solar power that will benefit more that 1,600 low-income families. These families will save an average of $35,000 over the lifetime of the solar panels.
- As a result of the solar systems installed by Fellows, carbon emissions will be reduced an average of 84 tons per household and is the equivalent of planting about 1,920 trees or taking an average of 16 cars off the roads per household.
In August 2016, GRID hired 43 new SolarCorps Fellows to serve in our offices across the country, with partial funding support from AmeriCorps. An additional 20-25 fellows are projected to be hired throughout 2016-17. Of the new cohort hired in August, 33% are women and 58% are people of color.
SolarCorps Fellows are very diverse and come from a variety of backgrounds.
- On average, 40% of Fellows are women and 60% are people of color.
- Ages range from 18-63.
- Before joining SolarCorps Fellows have worked in construction, the military, for-profit solar companies, attended school, and received training from partner job training organizations.
- Education backgrounds range from no formal education to advanced degrees (masters and PhDs).
- The vast majority of Fellows volunteered with GRID before becoming Fellows.
- Fellows make up approximately 20% of GRID’s full time staff.