The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit that was formed to help promote the growth of the solar industry, has received a $2 million award from the United States Department of Energy to help train a new workforce.
Much of this highly trained workforce will be recent military veterans looking to find work as they transition into civilian life. In addition to veterans, the program will seek out people from “underserved” communities.
Of course, this is not the first time that veterans have been the target demographic and beneficiaries of the growing solar industry. In early 2015, the White House funded a program called Solar Ready Vets.
“We’re committed to building a solar workforce that can meet the urgent challenges of the 21st century. This new program will help veterans and other job seekers develop advanced technical skills and become America’s future solar leaders.” – Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director at The Solar Foundation.
While the program is currently considering “hundreds” of applicants, there are plans to develop a scalable model for many more people to join and take advantage of the program.
Other organizations that can be considered partners with Solar Foundation’s new solar program are; The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Solar Energy Industries Association, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, and Cypress Creek Renewables. Many individuals in these organization recognize the easily transferable leadership skills that veterans have and can put to use with their new solar jobs.
This is obviously great news for veterans and others seeking a new field to work in. The solar power industry will be able to supply many thousands of people with new careers in the coming years. The reason why this will happen is simple, and that is that the industry is still in its infancy. Since a very small percentage of America is powered by solar, solar jobs will continue to grow at a good pace for many years to come as the country switches from fossil fuels to solar power.
The sky is, literally, the limit.