When Charlie Wilde started taking classes at Solar Energy International in 2013 he knew already what his goals were. Many people jump into the solar industry for lots of different reasons and with different outcomes, but for Charlie he had already made plans and was committed to following through with them. That’s why when NPR reached out to Solar Energy International to hear more from their students, they mentioned Charlie right away. His dedication to learning, positive attitude, and the reasons for joining the solar movement all stand out among the many people who move through the beautiful SEI Campus.
And he doesn’t just stand out at SEI. Here at GRID Alternatives Charlie has been a dedicated team leader and volunteer. One of his favorite aspects of what we do here in sunny Colorado is our bi-weekly NABCEP study group. For Charlie, this community helps keep him focused on the code and learning. Plus it’s a great way to connect with the GRID construction staff and other volunteers who participate in this group.
Charlie enjoys volunteering with GRID as a way to grow his skills and practice the things he has been learning in a real world setting. But he also agrees with giving back to the community and finds that aspect of working with GRID to be very rewarding. “As soon as I heard about GRID I checked out the website and was like, this is really cool, I want to be a part of it.” Being a part of the solution to our challenging energy needs is how he first got into the business. He knew that global warming was a big issue of today and set out contribute.
All of his experience and learning have prepared him for the business he just launched, Ecology Solar, which saw an increase in publicity and some important contacts made after the NPR spotlight. He even gives GRID a shout-out on his website! With starting a business, hands-on experience isn’t the only perk of being a part of the GRID community, it’s the connections and friends that are made along the way. One of our team leaders helped Charlie install solar on his own rooftop last year. And he hopes that as his business blooms, he can bring in some of the people he has worked with on GRID installs and be able to offer them added opportunity and paid positions. It’s great to learn on a rooftop, but it’s always better to do so among friends. And we are glad to call Charlie Wilde one of those.
By Courtney Boyd, SolarCorp Volunteer and Training Fellow