When Michael Sanchez was a senior at Rancho Vista High in Temecula, CA, he was unsure of which job prospect to pursue upon graduation. Several of his family members worked in construction and Michael was particularly interested in electrical work. He soon identified lack of experience as an obstacle to overcome as contractors rarely hire employees with little or no skills. Fortunately for Michael, his high school had just launched a solar tech class that he thought might provide some experience toward his career aspirations.
Michael found the classroom instruction interesting, but still was unsure if a career in solar was right for him. His teacher encouraged him to stick with the program because the class would soon be volunteering with GRID Alternatives through their high school program, Solar Futures. “That installation with GRID really changed my perspective,” Michael said. “I quickly developed an interest in the electrical components and was immediately drawn to the physical and mental demands of building a solar system.”
After completing multiple installations with GRID, Michael began to develop confidence built upon hands-on training. “The GRID team is very organized. They use both ground and roof crews effectively. I learned so much because GRID supervisors are experts at breaking down the process and taking time to share knowledge,” Michael explained. “GRID is really one-on-one instruction most of the time. It was an amazing experience learning from people who had great technical expertise and were all about making sure I understood what was happening.”
Once Michael graduated from high school he took an internship with a local solar contractor. He was impressed with how much he learned from GRID and his ability to mesh with the team. “I liked that every job was different,” Michael said in reflection. “I knew building a career in solar was a good idea because the industry is expanding so fast. I love the pace of changing technology and see myself growing with the industry.”
In two short years Michael progressed from working on a few installations to completing quotes, drafting plans, and managing a department. “Solar has been wonderful to me. It has become more of a passion than a job. If you are young and searching for a career in an industry that is a world-wide phenomenon, check out solar,” Michael declared. “The possibilities are endless and there is no better place to start than GRID Alternatives.”
Michael’s path to a rewarding career in solar provides an outstanding example of what can be achieved through volunteering with GRID. If you are seeking stable employment in an industry that has grown consistently at 20 percent over the last three years, what are you waiting for? Regardless of where you live in the Inland Empire GRID offers a gateway to stable employment. Visit the sign up page today and put yourself on a successful career track. Thanks to SunPower for its support of our Solar Futures program.