Volunteer finds purpose in solar Career


October 18, 2011

Tom King had a decent job in produce distribution but he didn’t wake up every day feeling passionate about going to work. So he began to look for something else to do.

He heard about an opportunity to volunteer with a nonprofit organization called GRID Alternatives that was teaching volunteers to install solar power for homeowners living on low incomes. Without any prior experience in solar, Tom decided to drive to the newly opened regional office in Los Angeles and get signed up to volunteer.

After participating in several solar installations with GRID Alternatives, he then took classes in solar at the nearby East Los Angeles Skills Center. Through networking and building up his resume experience in solar, Tom soon landed a job as Operations Manager at Phat Energy, a local, growing solar energy company.

Today, Tom is proud and passionate about the industry he works for and gives back through mentoring other green job hopefuls and lecturing about solar energy and careers. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Pasadena City College which recently started a solar education program and has advised the National Science Foundation on how to promote the solar industry.