Solar Job Fair 2020 moves good energy online

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October 30, 2020
A person with a drill demonstrates extreme concentration and precision inserting a screw in drywall

South Bay native Jami Carrington, an alumna of Women in Non Traditional Employment Roles, a non-profit organization, attended two solar job fair events sponsored by Southern California Edison. The first, held in her hometown of Carson in 2019, was a way to expose her to more work by GRID Alternatives when she was still exploring trades. But it was this October's Solar Job Fair 2020 (in collaboration with SPI, ESI, North America Smart Energy Week) where Jami really found her footing. In fact, she can point to that day as the start of a new chapter!

Jami was hired through an online interview process as part of the Solar Job Fair's innovative overall purpose, connecting high-quality trainees from the GRID Alternatives network to good jobs in electrical and energy fields. Soon, she'll be starting her new paid position working on permits and project planning with the Better Earth Solar staff. She's one of the dozens of jobseekers, mostly based in California, who signed up to connect and converse with eight different employers. These sectors are hiring fast, and it's an easy decision for us to partner with SCE on events that help bring about a diverse, talented workforce.

A person stands in front of cloudy skies on a composite shingle roof
Jami Carrington, shown here on her own roof in 2019, has GRID Alternatives training and skills that are a great match with what midsize local solar companies need to hire.
The Solar Job Fair where Jami connected with Better Earth Solar was the first multi-exhibitor career event to be held in a GRID Alternatives online space—a necessity, given the need for safety. Fortunately, building trades are still doing big work in our region, and hiring managers are still looking for great candidates who know their way around a site (or a single-line diagram) and can act efficiently, responsibly, safely. We're excited that we've seen job placement successes come out of a Zoom event this fall, and look forward to utilizing technology to the fullest in the months ahead, especially as many Californians eager to work in the unprecedented circumstances of 2020 look for career connections.   

A full year of work with GRID Alternatives and participation in its local Workforce Development efforts was the key to making Jami a compelling interview. Now, she's on her way into the solar industry. We're grateful for our Solar Job Fair partners and the role they've played in successes like hers, and hope that others will continue exploring ways to support our work.