Volunteer #WomanCrush: Cate


March 06, 2018
Cate poses with GRID Mid-Atlantic volunteers

Cate was first introduced to solar while working in development and agriculture in Chad in the 1990s. The places she stayed in didn’t have electricity, so Cate experienced what life was like first-hand without lights, AC, or heat. Eventually, one of the sites she worked on had solar panels, which provided electricity in a clean and quiet way.

“I kind of fell in love with solar at that point.”

When she moved back to the US, she decided to learn everything she could about solar energy. Cate started volunteering full-time at the Los Angeles GRID office in 2015. She was drawn to GRID’s mission, serving underserved communities, and the hands-on job training model. By working on installs, in the warehouse, and as a design intern, Cate racked up hundreds of volunteer hours.

“It’s just so helpful to understand, literally, the nuts and bolts, of the operation. To see the whole process from start to finish.”

Cate on the roof with GRID GLA staff member
Cate volunteered with two GRID offices before taking the NABCEP PV Installers Certification Exam
After moving to DC in 2017, Cate participated in the Mid-Atlantic Solarthon. With technical skills, design experience, and both single and multi-family installs under her belt, Cate took the NABCEP PV Installers Exam. The exam, a step beyond the NABCEP Associates, requires an individual to demonstrate experience in the solar industry, take advanced coursework, and design five projects. Now with a NABCEP PV Installers Certification, she is searching for a solar design job, ready to start her solar career.

And she really wants to emphasize to others that installing solar is for women, too.

“Women should understand, that I didn’t have any trouble with the work on the roof. Don’t hesitate to get involved in the field work. Just jump in.

So don’t be deterred – solar can be a career for everyone.