Solar Industry Partnership Brightens Veterans Career Prospects

September 30, 2019

From resume rebuilding to job searching, Swords to Plowshares’ Employment and Training Department provides  a variety of services for our veterans. Many veterans that seek our assistance are interested in switching careers or finding one that fits them best. With a new career comes new skill sets, and that is where our organization plays a big role in providing sponsored training for enrolled clients.

In early May of this year, Swords to Plowshares’ partnered with GRID Alternatives to host a free hands-on solar training event for Bay Area veterans who were interested in starting a new career path. Prior to the training, Employment and Training worked with these veterans and introduced them to the opportunity of being part of the growing solar industry. GRID Alternatives is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit solar installers, and a large part of the organization’s mission is to create careers in the solar industry solar jobs and bring solar energy to low-income communities. To ensure this, GRID Alternatives partners up with affordable housing organizations and job training groups to provide hands-on installation programs that connect people to clean energy jobs.

The veterans kicked off the training by familiarizing themselves with an introduction to solar power and safety practices. They had the chance to learn about solar sales and how to effectively pitch solar energy for interested clients. Trainers from GRID Alternatives provided a step-by-step tutorial on solar design and the importance of placement for efficient solar energy. From there, veterans participated in on-going projects, which allowed them to get hands-on installation training. The week finished with a networking event hosted by GRID Alternatives helping our veterans connect with a few of the Bay Area’s leading solar companies.

The success of our first cohort in the spring led us to partner up with GRID Alternatives again during the summer. By the end of July, we hosted our second cohort with  a total of 12 veterans participating and completing our trainings. Since completion of the training, 10 veterans have already secured employment, with half finding jobs directly connected to the solar field.

If you are an employer interested in learning about how you can support and hire veterans, please email us at employment@stp-sf.org.

Our second cohort of veterans receive their Certificates of Completion from Workforce Development Manager at GRID Alternatives, Daisy Meyer.