Hill Air Force Base, Utah, next month will host its first class of 24 veterans training for a wide range of careers in the solar industry, as part of the Department of Energy’s Solar Ready Vets initiative.
President Obama announced the program during a visit to Hill last April, reported 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs.
Hill is the fourth base to implement the program, which is already underway at Camp Pendleton, Calif.; Fort Carson, Colo.; and Naval Station Norfolk, Va. More than 150 veterans have been trained so far for a variety of careers in the solar industry, including installer, sales representative and system inspector.
So far, all of the participating veterans have been extended job offers from renewable energy companies participating in the initiative, according to the Energy Department.
The program also will start his year at Fort Drum, N.Y. The Energy Department is working with DOD to expand Solar Ready Vets to a total of 10 installations by late spring 2016, according to the Air Force. The classes are paid for by DOE during the startup phase, with funding for continuing classes paid for by service members’ GI Bill benefits.
Under the program, service members learn skills such as how to size and install solar panels, connect electricity to the grid and understand local building codes, reported the Standard Examiner. Training will be provided by Salt Lake Community College in partnership with DOE and take place in Hill classrooms and lab space, and online.
Hill was chosen to be part of the program based on the number of exiting military personnel from the installation, the strength of the surrounding solar market and the capacity of nearby training institutions.