Naval Sea Systems Command official website of the United States government

America’s Veterans Are Thriving in the Solar & Storage Industry

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

While November is a traditional time to celebrate our veterans’ military service, it’s also a good time to lift up the contribution to the community so many make after their service is complete.

Since 2013, veteran employment in the solar and storage industry has grown 63% from 13,192 veterans to 21,533 veterans in 2022. This is, in large part, thanks to programs like Solar Ready Vets. Over the years, the program has evolved to meet the changing needs of veterans entering the civilian workforce, and today, veterans, service members, and their spouses can use the Solar Ready Vets Network to find career opportunities in the solar and storage industry.

Organizational and critical thinking skills, the purpose-driven outlook and commitment to excellence are traits that have historically made veterans outstanding candidates for a wide range of professions and a career in solar is no exception.

The Solar Ready Vets Fellowship is a work-based learning program managed through Hiring Our Heroes that connects transitioning military service members directly with solar employers. The program allows service members to use their talents and skills from their military service to apply for jobs at participating solar companies. Service members receive on-the-job training and work on projects that actively prepare them for a career in the solar industry. After service members complete the 12-week fellowship, they are able to transition to full-time roles with the company.

Army veteran Desmine Greene is a logistics management expert who participated in the Solar Ready Vets Fellowship. “They were looking for somebody that had done the same thing I did in the military: running a warehouse, operating logistics, managing operations, and things of that nature,” Greene said. After his fellowship ended, Greene was offered a full-time position and is still working in the renewable industry today.

Jacqueline Sukhlall served in the Air Force for over 26 years where she held several business management and operations-focused positions. Sukhlall participated in the Solar Ready Vets Fellowship in 2022 and was offered a business development position upon completion of the program. “Serving in the military is a great way to be part of something bigger, and you get a similar feeling working in renewables … it’s a rewarding and exciting industry to be a part of,” she said.

The fellowships have been successful because they offer an “earn while you learn” model, helping to recruit and retain quality candidates. Apprenticeships go a step further and incorporate structured, field-specific training that occurs over an extended period of time, helping to offer stability and a clear career path into the future.

Because apprenticeships are an effective way to attract and prepare veterans for clean energy careers, the Solar Ready Vets Network is developing National Guideline Standards that employers will be able to use to develop a skilled solar workforce through apprenticeships. The network is also creating resources to connect veterans to apprenticeships and is elevating this important work through National Apprenticeship Week activities.

Transitioning service members offer a multitude of skills that can benefit the solar and storage industry, but it takes a sustained effort to welcome this top talent to the industry. If solar and storage employers want to attract, hire, and retain more veterans, they must be intentional and can start by plugging into the Solar Ready Vets Network.

To all of our service members, veterans, and military families, we honor and thank you today and every day for your commitment and service to our country.

Join the Solar Ready Vets Network to receive updates about program opportunities and resources.

The Solar Ready Vets Network partners include the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Solar Energy Industries Association, Hiring Our Heroes, Solar Energy International, and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

By E’Lon Cohen Hall and Claire Laurentine, from SEIA Blog

Image courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Alexander Quiles via SEIA Blog.  Official website of the United States government

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book

Holiday Wish Book Cover

Click to download.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

Guest Contributor

We publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people, organizations, agencies, and companies.

Guest Contributor has 4313 posts and counting. See all posts by Guest Contributor