Daniel Montero is one of nine individuals who recently graduated from GRID Alternatives Inland Empire’s (GRID IE) Solar Construction Cohort Program in June of this year. At graduation, Daniel received special recognition as ‘GRID’s Choice award’ for being an exceptional student.
Daniel found out about the Solar Construction Cohort program when he responded to a flyer he saw at Riverside County Workforce Development office about a paid internship opportunity. “My dad worked in the solar industry and also my wife worked as a sales rep for a solar company. I had always wanted to work in solar and saw this as a way to get my foot in the door,” he said.
On the first day of his cohort internship, they met with the instructor of the College of the Desert. They spent eight hours in the classroom learning about photovoltaic as well as getting to know their classmates. After two days of classroom curriculum, they had a chance to get out in the field to do their first installation. Daniel recalled that on his first installation he was very anxious to get on the roof. He said he was always the first one harnessed up and ready to go! “I learned all aspects of solar including installing the electric panel box, how to run the wires, bend conduit, lay the railing system, find the rafter and also learned about safety.” Out of everything he learned, he said one of his main challenges was learning how to connect the combiner box. He has gotten better but plans on taking a class soon to further his knowledge.
At graduation, Daniel applied for a construction warehouse position at a mini-job fair hosted by GRID IE’s Workforce and Volunteer department. “I interviewed with Solar Installation Supervisor Ernesto Rochester and Warehouse and Purchasing Manager James Burkes. I was ecstatic when a couple of weeks later I was offered the position,” said Daniel.
As a construction warehouse assistant, some of Daniel’s day-to-day responsibilities include counting inventory and preparing for installations by sorting the hardware (panels, screws and bolts, rails etc.) for the installs. The equipment is then stacked in bins and loaded into its perspective van in preparation for the job site. He really loves what he does and say’s he even has opportunities to participate in installs, site visits and inspections on occasion. “I hope to stay at GRID as long as I can and learn everything I can possibly learn along the way to help me to grow in the solar industry,” said Daniel.
To find out about current job opportunities within GRID, visit GRID’s career portal. For more information about GRID IE’s Solar Construction Cohort Program, contact Cindy at 951.228.9381.