Zachary Cain earned the title as ‘Volunteer of the Year’ in February of this year at our Volunteer Appreciation event. He had accumulated an impressive 250 volunteer hours and participated in 52 installs with GRID.
Zachary first learned about GRID through an employee who suggested that he look into available opportunities in the Inland Empire office. “I was really attracted to GRID’s mission and GRID’s bottom line: People. Planet. Employment. really spoke to me,” said Zach. Because California has a lot of smog, he wants to help bring clean air and clean energy to the region through renewable energy. Zach did warehouse work at night for Fed Ex and volunteered with GRID during the day. “I signed up for as many installs as possible. I was determined to gain as much experience as I could in order to get my foot in the door,” said Zach. His tenaciousness paid off. After interviewing for a position with the construction team at GRID IE, he finally received a call encouraging him to apply for the SolarCorps Construction Fellowship position, which he did and was hired.
GRID’s hands-on job training equips trainees with a broad range of skillsets and paves the way to a solar career. “I essentially had zero knowledge in general about power tools or solar prior to volunteering with GRID. It was all very new to me,” Zach explained. “I started taking courses through Solar Energy International (SEI) and I learned a lot through these classes as well as the hands-on job training with GRID.” Zach learned how to use power tools and gained knowledge about safety including the proper technique of anchor points, how to properly attach the safety harness, as well as how to use other safety equipment on installs. Since his previous job only entailed warehouse work, he has developed soft skills such as email and office etiquette. He is thankful for what GRID has taught him.
“I really enjoy getting out in the field and being able to see the impact that GRID is making in the communities we serve.” Zach understands that reducing our carbon footprint is very important. He said his perspective has changed since getting involved with GRID and he has become more conscientious about conserving energy.