On Friday, May 25th, 22 trainees took another step closer to a career in solar by graduating the Solar Works DC program. Friends, family, and GRID staff cheered as each trainee walked across the stage at the DC Infrastructure Academy (DCIA) to accept their certificates and congratulations from senior city officials and Nicole Steele, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic.
The setting was a familiar one for the graduates, who spent much of the past 12 weeks at DCIA studying the ins-and-outs of photovoltaics and rooftop safety. When they weren’t in the classroom, the trainees were on rooftops getting hands-on experience installing solar systems for underserved DC residents, lowering their electric bills by an average of 50% in the process. All-in-all, the trainees assisted GRID’s Construction team in the completion of 15 residential and commercial solar installations. "This is a part of a larger Solar for All program. In order for these goals to be achieved, we need a workforce to perform these installations," explained Taresa Lawrence, Deputy Director of the Energy Administration at DOEE.
Now, just over a week later, 9 of those 22 trainees have job offers thanks to Solar Works DC. Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes, Interim Director at DOES, was there to remind graduates to use their new opportunities to give back to their communities. “You’ve got work to do, for me and you,” she sang, invoking the lyrics of a popular Lee Field’s song. Deputy Mayor Courtney Snowden was also in attendance, and concluded her send-off by thanking the graduates “for the hard work that you have done. Can’t wait to see you on the roof!
We at GRID Mid-Atlantic couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Congratulations to the Spring cohort for completing the Solar Works DC program, we can’t wait to see you on the roof.
Interested in learning more about Solar Works DC and possibly joining the Fall cohort? The deadline for Fall applicants will be posted here soon.