“The solar panels are getting a workout right now,” exclaimed DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, referencing the abundant sunshine on Monday morning, as Solar Works DC job trainees gathered behind the Mayor in their gold shirts for the official Solar Works DC kick-off event.
Solar Works DC is a program spearheaded by the DC Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) and the Department of Employment Services (DOES) that provides hands-on solar installation job training to District residents, as well as brings the benefits of solar to low-income homeowners. GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic is implementing the first year of this program that will train up to 75 District residents in solar installation skills, and will provide between 60 and 100 income-qualified homeowners with solar.
“This opportunity has helped me step outside of my comfort zone,” said Whitney, a Solar Works DC job trainee who is looking forward to a career in public health. She sees the new skills as beneficial to her career, even if it’s not in solar, because she is engaging with GRID clients face-to-face and learning how to work in a team. For other job trainees, this introduction to solar made them rethink their future. “Solar is going to be my career,” said Devonte. Another job trainee, Dexter, who was part of GRID’s GZEP cohort last year, explained, “I was just waiting for this all year, so I could come back.”
The presentation of the SolSmart Gold award to the District wrapped up the event. Through the SolSmart Program, The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) recognize local governments addressing local barriers to make it easier for solar energy development. The District recognizes that job training is an
GRID’s summer session is almost over, but we are recruiting for the Solar Works DC 12-week Fall session! District residents over the age of 18 can apply. More information here.