Training 1000 veterans through Troops to Solar


November 10, 2015

This Veterans Day, GRID Alternatives announced our national Troops to Solar initiative to connect veterans to solar jobs by providing hands-on training to 1000 U.S. military veterans and active service members across the country. The initiative, supported by a 3-year, $750,000 grant from Wells Fargo, builds on the job training work we have have been doing with veterans across the country.

“Solar is a high-growth career that speaks to so many of the skills our Veterans bring -- leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, innovation,” said Anna Bautista, GRID’s Vice President for Construction and Workforce Development. “Together we can build a stronger clean energy future for our country.”

Troops to Solar is part of a larger national effort by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) to employ 50,000 veterans in the solar industry by 2020. 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.

After serving in the Navy for 10 years, Nanncy Valais is eager to get her contractor's license and begin a career in solar.
“Solar companies hire veterans because they come trained, ready, and passionate. The solar industry is filled with people who are passionate about the job and who work together to help people, the environment, and national security,” said Nat Kreamer, an Afghan war veteran and Chairman of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “Solar, like the military, is not just about the paycheck; it’s also about working for something larger than oneself. Veterans working in solar get to serve our nation twice.”

Under the initiative, we will provide solar installation trainings for military and veterans groups, “Vets helping Vets” events to provide solar systems for low-income veterans, an online resume bank connecting trainees with industry job openings, and solar job fairs. 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.

With this new grant, Wells Fargo will have invested over $3.8 million since 2007 in GRID Alternatives’ work to install solar systems for low-income families and provide solar industry workforce development in disadvantaged communities.