When President Obama announced the creation of the Solar Ready Vets program earlier this year, 10 military bases were selected for the launch. Earlier this week, Norfolk, VA’s first class graduated from the program.
Seventeen veterans and transitioning active duty service members completed the 6 week training course.
The goal of the Solar Ready Vets program is to train active military personnel who are in transitioning military status – within a few months of leaving the military and becoming a veteran – to enter the solar workforce. Many solar companies have found that working with veterans is a great asset to their company. Ambassador Energy and The Veteran Asset work to provide training and jobs to veterans.
The Solar Ready Vets program works with the SunShot Solar Instructor Training Network and the Department of Defense SkillBridge initiative to build on skills veterans have acquired through their service. The program also connects students with employers. Five solar companies came to interview the graduates.
The intensive 6 week program teaches how to size and install solar energy systems, connect electricity to the grid, and interpret and comply with local building codes. Graudates leave the program prepared for careers in solar, including installation, sales, inspection, technical, and management positions.
The program is a part of the Department of Energy’s goal to train 75,000 new solar workers by 2020. These positions are necessary to keep up with the incredible growth of the solar industry. The National Solar Jobs Census has found that solar jobs have increased 21.4% in the last year alone, 86% in the last 4 years. Hiring our nation’s vets to fill these positions is a victory for everyone.
Photo Credit: The flag of the United States by Sam Howzit via flickr