A new path with solar employment


January 23, 2018


Veronica secures solar panels on GRID's 2 megawatt community solar project in Fort Collins
Veronica secures solar panels on the 2 megawatt community solar project that will provide power and savings for 175 low-income qualified Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association members in Fort Collins, CO.

Veronica Johnson is a single mother of three and a resident of a Denver Housing Authority apartment building. Veronica was working in the kitchen at a Denver Public School, but wasn't satisfied with her job. She wanted work with her hands, building things that people needed. Veronica started looking into classes offered at the Denver Housing Authority, and found GRID's Solar Training Academy, a two week introductory solar course that is designed to provide a pipeline to employment in the solar industry for low-income qualified Denver metro area residents. 

Interested in both the hands-on aspect of solar and GRID’s mission to support vulnerable communities, Veronica was mainly concerned about getting on top of the heights of a roof. But with GRID's "take you as you come" attitude to training, she knew that she could learn and get comfortable at her own pace.  Now she’s been on roofs multiple times. “The more you do it, the easier it is.” Veronica was selected for an internship with GRID following graduation from the Solar Training Academy and was excited when she found out it would pay $15 per hour. Her family has been happier now that they can afford to do more things, like visit her extended family in Mississippi.

Veronica now tells everyone she can about solar. A member of her apartments' community association, she talks about GRID and encourages others to sign up for the Solar Training Academy. And, helping build solar arrays which will benefit communities like hers is a big motivation. One of the projects Veronica worked on is a 2 megawatt solar array which will provide power and savings for Denver Housing Authority buildings and over 500 residents - families like hers. “I really hope more people in Southwest Denver can get solar, there’s a lot of need and it can really help them.”