Active and former U.S. service members across the country are joining GRID Alternatives to install solar for low-income families while learning skills to jumpstart their solar careers. The Troops to Solar initiative is supported by a 3-year, $750,000 grant from Wells Fargo.
Vincent V., a U.S. Navy veteran, participated in our Troops to Solar internship program this year and is nearing completion. Vince served on the USS San Francisco, which is a submarine based out of San Diego, and was a nuclear mechanic for 6 years. During that time, he traveled around the US and learned everyday life skills such as time management and the importance of safety. He first discovered GRID when we installed solar on his aunt's West Sacramento home. After seeing the benefits of solar and the savings his aunt received on her home, he then received solar on his home through GRID. “With the savings I was going to receive from solar I knew this granted me a chance to pay off debt and it felt good.”
Eventually Vince received an email from Sacramento Employment and Training agency (SETA) about job opportunities, and he learned about the Troops to Solar internship with GRID. He made a decision, “I wanted to gain a skill set with the ability to gain employment in the solar industry. I like learning about all the different aspects that go into installing solar on someone's house, and I was interested in how solar energy was generated and how it connected to homes.” From there, he applied and was accepted into the program.
During the course of the internship, Vince enjoyed building on his background to gain versatile skills that will serve him on his career path. “The skills I’ve gained are good skills that I can use in the future.” When asked for any last words of advice he replied,“ For any veterans looking for training, this is the program. You get to learn while working with good people. The instructors break things down slowly and everything is hands-on; you’ll learn how to do everything from start to finish.”