If you’re curious about getting involved in the solar industry, but not sure where to start, you’re not alone. With a primary background in customer service, and a growing passion for solar, GRID North Valley Outreach Coordinator, Alex, got his start in solar by joining GRID’s 200-hour Installation Basics Training (IBT 200) program.
Having gone straight from college into real estate, Alex quickly learned how to engage with people of many different backgrounds, but the heavy sales requirement that came with the work wasn’t a great fit. He knew he wanted to get into the solar industry, but didn’t want to go directly into another sales role. Without prior experience in the solar industry, there weren’t many options available.
When looking up internship opportunities around solar, Alex came across GRID’s IBT 200 program. The program offered a solar education, hands-on experience, OSHA-10 & CPR certificates, and even came with a completion stipend. Altogether it felt like a low-risk opportunity to develop his skills in solar. When asked what he thought about the program he said, “ If you’re looking to get involved in the solar industry and don’t know how...check out GRID. It [IBT 200] gives you an incredible understanding of solar as a whole, from start to finish. You’ll learn personal skills, how to work with teammates, how to work on your own, work on your resume, and they help you get a job. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in any aspect of solar.”
IBT 200 Trainees are also provided with exit program support, like career pathways workshops, mock interview prep, and introductions to hiring recruiters. The professional development skills taught in the program are transferable to careers across the building trades and beyond. In addition to solar installation and construction, graduates can continue on to solar sales, design, or policy opportunities.
Once Alex graduated from the program, he was ready to start a career in solar but hoped to somehow incorporate his customer service skills in a new job. GRID was hiring for an Outreach Coordinator around the time of his graduation, which felt like a perfect mix of customer service and solar knowledge. He’s now a GRID Outreach Coordinator, working with many local families to spread solar access. Alex is able to provide solar clients with a thorough understanding of what to expect, since he’s very familiar with the process, from the application to the rooftop.