America’s solar industry is a strong employer of veterans and provides economic empowerment through good wages ($20-$24 per hour) in high-growth jobs, many of which do not require advanced degrees. We launched our national Troops to Solar initiative in 2015 to connect veterans to these jobs by providing solar industry workforce training to U.S. military veterans and active service members across the country. In addition, our "Vets helping Vets” events provide solar systems for low-income veterans.
The initiative, supported by a 3-year, $750,000 grant from Wells Fargo, builds on the work GRID Alternatives has been doing with veterans at its locations across the country. It also supports a major solar industry initiative announced earlier this year to employ 50,000 veterans in the solar workforce by 2020.
Key elements include:
Training and hands-on solar installation experience for 1000 veterans and service members: GRID Alternatives offers hands-on training opportunities to veterans across the country through our Solar Affordable Housing Programs, helping prepare them for jobs in the growing solar industry. Many of GRID’s regional offices and affiliates also partner with veterans’ organizations and local military bases to provide dedicated and customized training opportunities.
Job connections: GRID Alternatives leverages its partnerships across the solar industry and its national solar resume bank to help connect veteran trainees with companies that are hiring. We also host job fairs in major solar markets across the country where veterans can meet face-to-face with hiring managers.
Native American veterans: Troops to Solar also includes a new Native American Veterans Initiative to install solar with veteran job trainees in extremely high-need communities in the Navajo Nation and other tribal reservations.