First Cohort Graduates from New GRID Solar Workforce Development Pilot Program in Puerto Rico

For immediate release


February 15, 2024, Juncos, Puerto Rico -- GRID Alternatives (GRID) and Empowered by Light (EBL) have partnered to launch a one-year pilot solar workforce development program in Juncos, Puerto Rico. The program seeks to train 60 people during the first year using GRID’s Installation Basics Training (IBT) curriculum, which consists of three weeks and 120 hours of interactive classroom learning and hands-on solar training labs. Job trainees gain new occupational skill sets, experience with practical solar applications, and opportunities for a new career path. 

A graduation ceremony will be held on Friday, February 16, 2024, at 9:30 AM for the first students to graduate from the Installation Basics Training Program.  The event will be held at the PathStone Workforce Center at Carr—PR 189 km. 11.8 Comunidad Canta Gallo, Bo. Mamey, Juncos, PR 00777. GRID and EBL received support from the solar industry companies that provided solar panels, inverters, racking, and batteries for the training center.  The class consists of four women and five men, ranging in age from their 20s to their 60s and coming from municipalities as far as the island of Vieques. There is no cost for the three-week program to qualified participants. Along with receiving their installation certificates, the students will be certified in CPR and OSHA 10.  

Students for the program were recruited from the local community, universities, renewable energy-focused organizations, and associations to include people from diverse backgrounds and those with some of the highest barriers to entry for career pathways. Depending on the timing and project availability, program trainees and graduates may have the opportunity to participate in EBL and other partner-funded solar installations to gain real-world, hands-on experience, build their skills, and strengthen their resumes. The program aims to connect graduating trainees to real jobs, which will increase job placement and the overall impact of the IBT program. 

"We're excited that our first group of trainees has graduated from the program and could soon be helping meet the growing demand for solar installers on the island," said Moira Hanes, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Empowered by Light. "We hope to have these graduates utilizing their newly acquired skills and knowledge on an actual solar installation very soon."

"We are excited to see the first graduating class from our new solar workforce training program in Puerto Rico.  Building an inclusive, equitable, and diverse solar workforce requires intentionality across the solar industry.  This training program exemplifies collaboration and community participation,”  said Jenean Smith, GRID’s Vice President of International Programs.



About GRID Alternatives

GRID Alternatives is an international, U.S.-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that builds community-powered solutions to advance economic and environmental justice through renewable energy. GRID works in the U.S., Mexico, Nepal, and Nicaragua and has installed solar photovoltaic systems on more than 29,500  homes and affordable housing developments in underserved communities while providing more than 33,200 individuals with workforce development training. GRID also provides clean mobility solutions and battery storage and is a leading voice in low-income solar policy development in the U.S.  Installation Basics Training (IBT), a competency-based certificate program designed to develop the skills most relevant to entry-level solar installation jobs and related construction employment fields. Trainees learn solar installation skills, OSHA 10 safety standards, first aid and CPR, and soft skills, including interpersonal communication and dependability, to help job trainees obtain and sustain employment.

About Empowered by Light

Empowered by Light is an international U.S.-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that uses renewable energy technologies to empower vulnerable communities on the frontlines of climate change, loss of wildlife, and environmental devastation. Empowered by Light has completed over 80 solar and energy storage projects in nine countries helping school-age children study after dark, helping rangers and conservationists protect critically biodiversity, and boosting economic development and resiliency for disadvantaged communities. Empowered by Light has completed 24 projects in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria including solar+storage systems for fire stations, community resiliency centers, elderly care homes and children's homes.

Contact: Wanda Heard, Sr. Public Relations and Advocacy Manager

GRID Alternatives

510. 877.5795